Developing a new synthesis of literacy studies, this book explores the domain of power through questions of colonialism, modern state formation, educational systems and official versus popular literacies. James Collins and Richard Blot present a critical discussion of particular cases and discuss the role of literacies in the formation of class, gender, and ethnic identity.
"Collins and Blot aruge cogently that considerations of history, power, and subjectivity must inform any study of the complexity of orality and its inseperability from writing..... Recommended." Choice
James Collins is Professor of Anthropology and of Reading at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He is the author of Understanding Tolowa Histories: Western Hegemonies and Native American Responses (1998), as well as of book and journal articles.
Richard Blot is Assistant Professor at the Graduate Program in Literacy Studies, Lehman College, City University of New York. He has published in a number of journals, including TESOL Quarterly, Anthropology and Education Quarterly and Latin American Anthropology Review.
List of figures; Foreword Brian V. Street; Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction: texts, power and identity; 2. The literacy thesis: vexed questions of rationality, development and self; 3. Situated approaches to the literacy debate; 4. Literacies and power in modern nation states: Euro-American lessons; 5. Literacies and identity formation: American cases; 6. Literacy, power and identity: colonial legacies and indigenous transformations; 7. Conclusion: literacy lessons - beginnings, ends and implications; Notes; References; Index.