Literacy, Emotion and Authority: Reading and Writing on a Polynesian Atoll

Overview

Using a contemporary perspective that emphasizes literacy as a social practice embedded in a socio-cultural context, this study analyzes the transformation of the Polynesian community of Nukulaelae from a nonliterate into a literate society.
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Overview

Using a contemporary perspective that emphasizes literacy as a social practice embedded in a socio-cultural context, this study analyzes the transformation of the Polynesian community of Nukulaelae from a nonliterate into a literate society.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...exceptionally rich in its fine reviews of both theory and case material in the anthropology of literacy, in its deep treatment of the situation on Nukulaelae, and in its demonstration of the way in which attention to literacy permits engagement with major anthropological issues about the construction of person and society. The book is well produced, with glossary and index, and is illustrated with maps and photographs....it would be appropriate in a wide range of upper-division and graduate courses." Journal of Anthropological Research

"...Besnier has given us a rich appreciation of how literacy interacts with social categories and communicative processes on Nukulaelae and beyond." Sarah Lund Skar, Anthropological Quarterly

"I certainly hope that Besnier's response to this criticism is to say that these data will be the subject of future ethnographic analyses, work that I look forward to wth great interest and high expectations." Richard J. Parmentier, American Anthropologist

"Niko Besnier's Literacy, emotion, and authority is a brilliant and painstaking ethnographic study of literacy on Nukulaelae Atoll Tuvalu (formerly the Ellice Islands." Kenneth M. George, Cultural Survival Quarterly

"Besnier's volume masterfully negotiates the complexities of textual analysis, meticulous contextualization of literacy practices within a framework of affiliated oral communication." Larry Lake, The Contemporary Pacific

"Niko Besnier's Literacy, emotion and authority is abrilliant and painstaking ethnographic study of literacy on Nukulaelae Atoll, Tuvalu (formerly Ellice Islands)....Niko Besnier has produced a probing and exceedingly useful study of the highest caliber." Kenneth M. George, Cultural Survival Quarterly

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of illustrations and tables
Acknowledgments
Transcription conventions and orthography
1 Introduction 1
2 The ethnographic context 21
3 The domains of reading and writing 52
4 Letter writing and reading 72
5 Letters, economics, and emotionality 93
6 Between literacy and orality: the sermon 116
7 Literacy, truth, and authority 140
8 Conclusion 169
Notes 188
References 204
Index of Tuvaluan words 226
General index 228
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