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Toxic Literacies: Exposing the Injustice of Bureaucratic Texts

Toxic Literacies: Exposing the Injustice of Bureaucratic Texts

by Denny Taylor
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"Official documentation" hides human rights violations in this country. Men, women, and children are incapacitated by legally sanctioned discriminatory practices that occur through the use of bureaucratic texts such as laws, court transcripts, medical reports, insurance policies, and work orders.

Based on a six-year ethnographic study, Toxic Literacies tells the story of:

  • Cindy, who spent years in prison for the possession of one gram of heroin
  • Sam, who spent six years on the streets and could not get help from any official agency
  • Laurie, who at twenty-five had cervical cancer and was crippled by radiation because it was cheaper than surgery
  • Kathryn, who, addicted to crack cocaine, pregnant, and living on the streets, was told she could not have any housing assistance until her baby was born.
  • Bureaucratic texts control the lives of men and women-Cindy, Sam, Laurie, Kathryn, people we pass on the street every day-living on the margins of American society. In Toxic Literacies, Denny Taylor explains how we allow this to happen and makes a compelling case for it to stop.

    Product Details

    ISBN-13: 9780435081379
    Publisher: Heinemann
    Publication date: 09/16/1996
    Edition description: New Edition
    Pages: 244
    Product dimensions: 6.22(w) x 9.23(h) x 0.75(d)
    Age Range: 18 Years

    About the Author

    Denny Taylor has received international recognition for her research and writing. Her awards include the Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize from the Modern Language Association, the Elva Knight Award from the International Reading Association, and the Richard A. Meade Award from the National Council of Teachers of English. Her field research is the basis of all her books, including Many Families, Many Literacies: An International Declaration of Principles (Heinemann, 1997) and Toxic Literacies: Exposing the Injustice of Bureaucratic Texts (Heinemann, 1996).

    Table of Contents

    Who Lives and Who Dies

    Death by Paper

    "File" Is Life Scrambled

    Staying Alive

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