Literacy Use and Incorporation in Culture: The "How" and "How Much" of Literacy

Statement of Responsibility:
Barber, Stephen J

This study reports on a broad-based study examining “how” and “how much” literacy is used in different cultural contexts. An underlying assumption is that any expression of literacy occurs within a cultural context and is shaped by the structures of that culture. Literacy use, the “how” of literacy, is explored in an analysis of interviews with 36 field linguists working with SIL International in ethnolinguistic minority communities. Community social environment is shown to be a strong factor in determining literacy use. Literacy incorporation, the “how much” of literacy, is explored in an analysis of data from survey questionnaires returned by 143 SIL field linguists working in 25 countries. Economic level and available education, along with the social environments of the community and the church, are shown to be strong factors in determining literacy incorporation.

This book is a revised version of the author’s 1995 Ph.D. Dissertation presented to the Faculty of the School of Intercultural Studies, Biola University. The data are from the early 1990s.

179 pages
hierarchist social environment
egalitarian social environment
authoritarian social environment
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