Saturday, April 19, 2008

Privileging Literacy

A 63 year old man talks about his journey to learn how to read (NPR).

Privileging literacy in our society, we see "illiteracy" as a focalized problem rather than a larger scale issue. It's important to keep in mind that literacy is a social practice, not necessarily a skill. Some societies (ours, for example) chooses to privilege literacy. The fact that we do privilege literacy leads those that are considered "illiterate" or unable to read "print" can be judged as stupid or lazy--leading to marginalization (and also pushing individuals to "hide" this). In a society that privileges literacy, it is unfair that we do not acknowledge the many ways of learning to read the word and the world...

1 comment:

narrator said...

The privileging of print literacy is simply one more way for a certain elite to maintain control. So, since that is the purpose, you should have no illusions that the educational community has any interest in either "the many ways of learning to read the word and the world" or in fairness.