Advertisement

Access, Availability and Sponsors of Literacy in Mirpur

  • Tony Capstick
Chapter
  • 168 Downloads

Abstract

This chapter examines the availability of written material and the opportunities that prospective migrants in Mirpur have for participating in reading and writing activities which, following work by Judith Kalman (2005), I will characterise as access to literacy. Drawing from work by Urs Fuhrer (1996), Kalman has argued that using social practices in specific contexts means learning to respond to the specific requirements of participation. Each practice is shaped to fit the social context in which it is employed. Contexts here are seen as including physical spaces as well as the social conduct which is expected within them, though an NLS perspective would also emphasise the role of values and ideologies in conduct. In order to understand the influence of institutions on these social spaces I also draw on the concept of literacy sponsorship, since literacy, Brandt argues, is part of larger social systems which confer value on reading and writing (2001). In this sense, Papen (2010COMP: Please remove a for Papen (2010) in the list.) suggests, the concept of literacy sponsorship is close to NLS in that it captures the relationship between people and the institutions which shape their literacy. Understanding literacy in this way means taking account of ‘any agents, local or distant, concrete or abstract, who enable, support, teach and model, as well as recruit, regulate, or withhold literacy—and gain advantage by it in some way’ (Brandt 2001: 27). What I aim to do in this chapter is identify the relationship between the sponsors of literacy in Mirpur and the individual literacy practices of Usman’s family. This involves exploring the varieties of English which Usman’s literacy practices included, and how these varieties in turn provided, but also prevented, access to literacy and different varieties of English. The analysis examines how this access is related to the social context in which each literacy practice is employed, as I understand access in Kalman’s sense means opportunities to use and practise a language in its written form. Kalman argues that it is the availability of printed matter which influences how opportunities to access reading and writing practices are constituted and how, in turn, these opportunities facilitate the availability of printed matter. Kalman is careful, though, to emphasise that written culture is not automatically accessed by the mere physical presence of written materials, since texts may be available but not everyone is able to read them in the same way, or in some cases read them at all.

Keywords

Access Route Visa Application Literacy Practice Religious Text Context Level 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Barton, D., & Hamilton, M. (1998). Local literacies. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barton, D., & Lee, C. (2013). Language online: Investigating digital texts and practices. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Baynham, M., & Masing, H. L. (2000). Mediators and mediation in multilingual literacy events. In K. Jones & M. Martin-Jones (Eds.), Multilingual literacies: Reading and writing different worlds (pp. 189–208). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  4. Brandt, D. (1998). Sponsors of literacy. College Composition and Communication, 49(2), 165–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brandt, D. (2001). Literacy in American lives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fuhrer, Urs. (1996). Behavior setting analysis of situated learning. The case of newcomers. In C. Seth & L. Jean (Eds.), Understanding practice. Perspectives on activity and context (pp. 179–211). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Gee, J. P. (1990). Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology in discourses. London: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  8. Kalman, J. (1999). Writing on the plaza: Mediated literacy practices among scribes and clients in Mexico City. Cresskill: Hampton Press.Google Scholar
  9. Kalman, J. (2001). Everyday paperwork: Literacy practices in the daily life of unschooled and underschooled women in a semiurban community in Mexico. Linguistics and Education, 12(4), 367–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kalman, J. (2005). Discovering literacy: Access routes to written culture for a group of women in Mexico. Hamburg: UNESCO Institute for Education.Google Scholar
  11. Papen, U. (2010). Literacy mediators, scribes or brokers? The central role of others in accomplishing reading and writing. Langage et Société, 133(3), 63–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Prinsloo, M., & Breier, M. (Eds.). (1996). The social uses of literacy. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  13. Saxena, M. (2000). Taking account of history and culture in community-based research on multilingual literacy. In M. Martin-Jones & K. Jones (Eds.), Multilingual literacies (pp. 149–169). Amsterdam: John Benjamin.Google Scholar
  14. Wodak, R. (1996). Disorders of discourse (Real language series). London: Longman.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tony Capstick
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ReadingReadingUK

Personalised recommendations