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ERIC Number: EJ884736
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-0143-4632
Literacy Practices in Rural Tanzania: The Case of Karagwe
Wedin, Asa
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v27 n3 p225-240 2006
In this paper I argue that literacy, as an aspect of language, is closely related to power. With the example of Karagwe, I show that different literacy practices relate differently to power. In Karagwe dominant literacies that are officially prescribed and standardised have a main function to sort people and maintain authority. As they are spread through schools, schooled literacies are very much geared at sorting pupils. Dominated literacy practices often have decorative and cultural functions and often do not follow standard norms, for example in spelling. In some cases there are local norms. Dominated literacies are more or less stigmatised. A third group of literacy practices, semi-dominant, are spread mainly through seminars and development agencies, such as different nongovernmental organisations. These literacy practices, which are important for the improvement of daily life and economic conditions, focus both on formal features and on the content in the texts. I argue that literacy in Karagwe is an important tool for maintaining authority while it is at the same time a tool for people to contest and resist authority. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Tanzania