Local Literacies: Reading and Writing in One Community, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Local Literacies

Reading and Writing in One Community, 1st Edition

By David Barton, Mary Hamilton


336 pages

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Local Literacies is a unique detailed study of the role of reading and writing in people’s everyday lives. By concentrating on a selection of people in a particular community in Lancaster, England, the authors analyse how they use literacy in their day-to-day lives. It follows four people in detail examining how they use local media, their participation in public life, the role of literacy in family activities and in leisure pursuits. Links are made between everyday learning and education. The study is based on an ethnographic approach to studying everyday activities and is framed in the theory of literacy as a social practice.

This Routledge Linguistics Classic includes a new foreword by Deborah Brandt and a new framing chapter, in which David Barton and Mary Hamilton look at the connections between local and global activities, interfaces with institutional literacies, and the growing significance of digital literacies in everyday life.

A seminal text, Local Literacies provides an explicit usable methodology for both teachers and researchers, and clear theorising around a set of six propositions. Clearly written and engaging, this is a deeply absorbing study and is essential reading for all those involved in literacy and literacy education.

Table of Contents

Foreword by David Bloome. Preface. Part I 1. Understanding Literacy as Social Practice 2. Locating Literacies in Time and Space: (1) A history of literacy in Lancaster 3. Locating Literacies in Time and Space: (2) Lancaster Today 4. Ethnography in Practice Part II 5. How They Have Fared in Education: Harry’s Literacy Practices 6. Getting Things Done in the Community: Shirley’s Literacy Practices 7. Living a Local Life: June’s Literacy Practices 8. Leisure and Pleasure: Cliff’s Literacy Practices Part III 9. Everyday Literacies: (1) The Range of Practices 10. Everyday Literacies: (2)the Patterning of Practices 11. Home, Learning and Education 12. The Web of Literacies in Local Organisations 13. Becoming Expert: Literacy and Sense-making 14. Vernacular Literacies 15. Afterword

About the Authors

David Barton is Professor of Language and Literacy and Director of the Literacy Research Centre at Lancaster University, UK. He is series editor of the Literacies series (Routledge) and author and co-editor of numerous titles including Literacy, Lives and Learning (2007, Routledge).

Mary Hamilton is Professor of Adult Learning and Literacy and Associate Director of the Literacy Research Centre at Lancaster University, UK. She is the author of Literacy and the Politics of Representation (forthcoming, Routledge).

About the Series

Routledge Linguistics Classics

Routledge Linguistics Classics brings together key seminal books from the rich heritage of Routledge linguistics publishing. Each book is reissued with the original text, and also includes an additional new chapter, foreword or afterword to situate these titles in current scholarship. These titles have been deemed classics by leading academics and are essential reading for students and all who need to keep up to date with the field of linguistics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General