Literacy continues to be a central issue in anthropology, but methods of perceiving and examining it have changed in recent years. In this 1995 study Niko Besnier analyses the transformation of Nukulaelae from a non-literate into a literate society using a contemporary perspective which emphasizes literacy as a social practice embedded in a socio-cultural context. He shows how a small and isolated Polynesian community, with no access to print technology, can become deeply steeped in literacy in little more than a century, and how literacy can take on radically divergent forms depending on the social and cultural needs and characteristics of the society in which it develops. His case study, which has implications for understanding literacy in other societies, illuminates the relationship between norm and practice, between structure and agency, and between group and individual.
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(228mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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