The Social Uses of Literacy

Theory and Practice in Contemporary South Africa

Editors
| University of Cape Town
| University of Cape Town
Preface Author
| University of Cape Town
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027217950 (Eur) | EUR 105.00
ISBN 9781556193200 (USA) | USD 158.00
 
PaperbackAvailable
ISBN 9789027217967 (Eur) | EUR 36.00
ISBN 9781556193217 (USA) | USD 54.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027282996 | EUR 105.00/36.00*
| USD 158.00/54.00*
 
This book details the findings of a research project investigating the social uses of literacy in a range of contexts in South Africa. This approach treats literacy not simply as a set of technical skills learnt in formal education, but as social practices embedded in specific contexts, discourses and positions. What this means is made clear through a series of fine-grained accounts of social uses and meanings of literacy in contexts ranging from the taxi industry in Cape Town, to family farms, urban settlements and displacement sites, rural land holdings, and various sites during the 1994 elections, and among different sectors of South African society, Black, Colored and White.
Since the view of literacy presented here is so dependent on context, the book provides not only descriptions of literacy practices but also rich insights into the complexity of everyday social life in contemporary South Africa at a major point of transition. It can be read as a concrete way of understanding the emergence of the New South Africa as it appears to actors on the ground, focused through attention to one central feature of contemporary life — the uses and meanings of literacy.
“Using fascinating and carefully documented case-study material, this book raises vital questions about literacy and illiteracy, and about adult education. Above all, it questions the efficacy of any literacy programme which fails to acknowledge the many ways in which uneducated and so called ‘illiterate’ people already use reading, writing and numeracy in their everyday lives.” Jenny Maybin, The Open University, Milton Keynes
[Studies in Written Language and Literacy, 4]  1996.  viii, 279 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Preface
Brian Street
1
Introduction
Mastin Prinsloo
11
Section 1: Literacies at work
31
1. Literacy, voter education and constructions of citizenship in the Western Cape during the firstdemocratic national elections in South Africa
Mastin Prinsloo
33
2. Literacy, knowledge, gender and power in the workplace on three farms in the Western Cape
Diana Gibson
49
3. Literacy and communication in a Cape factory
Mignonne Breier
65
4. Communicative practices of the service staff of a school
Kathy Watters
85
Section 2: Mediating literacies
103
5. Literacy mediation and social identity in Newton, Easter Cape
Liezl Malan
105
6. Cultural brokers and bricoleurs of modern and traditional literacies: Land struggles inNamaqualand’s Coloured reserves
Steven Robins
123
7. Literacy learning and local literacy practice in Bellville South
Liezl Malan
141
8. ‘We can all sing, but we can’t all talk’: Literacy brokers and tsotsi gangstersin a Cape Town shantytown
Ammon China
157
Section 3: Contextualising literacies: policy lessons
173
9. Literacy, migrancy and disrupted domesticity: Khayelitshan ways of knowing
Phumza Mpoyiya
177
10. “We are waiting/ this is our home’: Literacy and the search for ressources in the ruralEastern Cape
M.J. McEwan
197
11. Taking literacy for a ride — reading and writing in the taxi industry
Mignonne Breier
213
12. Literacy practices in an informal settlement in the Cape Peninsula
Catherine Kell
235
Afterword
Tony Morphet
257
References
265
Index
275
“Using fascinating and carefully documented case-study material, this book raises vital questions about literacy and illiteracy, and about adult education. Above all, it questions the efficacy of any literacy programme which fails to acknowledge the many ways in which uneducated and so called ‘illiterate’ people already use reading, writing and numeracy in their everyday lives. ”
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Subjects

Linguistics

Writing and literacy
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  96014789