First published in 1986, this book looks at the impact of mass literacy on everyday life, discussing the fundamental differences between traditional oral cultures and contemporary industrialised societies where most people rely on complex combinations of oral and literate communication. There is also a detailed examination of the problems of the sub-literate minority with recommendations for future programmes of assistance. This book also provides a historical survey of the spread of literacy in British society from the Roman occupation onwards. In conclusion, the author discusses the impact of information technologies on people with limited basic skills.
Table of Contents
Editor’s preface; Acknowledgments; 1 Approaching literacy; Introduction Dimensions of literacy and illiteracy; 2 Defining and measuring literacy and illiteracy; Defining literacy Functional literacy: a brief history Operationalising functional literacy A sociological conception of literacy; 3 The historical perspective Introduction Literacy in classical Greece and Rome Medieval manuscript literacy in Britain The advent of print Literacy in early modern Britain The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; 4 Tutors and students; Introduction Illiteracy myths The Nottingham Adult Literacy Scheme Recruitment and matching procedures Tutor training The Nottingham literacy catchment area Illiteracy careers Initial contacts Tuition and orientations to illiteracy Progress and dropping out Summary; 5 Illiteracy and work; Introduction The British Adult Literacy Campaign The political economy of illiteracy The scale of illiteracy: misreading the problem Responding to social disadvantage Remedying illiteracy; 7 The future of literacy and literacies of the future; Introduction The oral-literate transition Literacy and the information explosion; Appendix 1 Details of sampling and interviewing procedures; Appendix 2 English historical literacy rates; Notes; Bibliography; Index