Literacy and the Politics of Representation
Routledge – 2013 – 178 pages
Literacy is a key indicator for comparing individuals and nations in contemporary society. It is central to public debates about the nature of the public sphere, economic markets, citizenship and self-governance.
Literacy and the Politics of Representation aims to uncover the constructed nature of public understandings of literacy by examining detailed examples of how literacy is represented in a range of public contexts. It looks at the ways in which knowledge about literacy is created and distributed, the location and relative power of the knowledge-makers, and examines the different semiotic resources used in such representations: images and metaphors, numerical and statistical models, and textual narratives and how they are related to one another.
The book focuses on the UK from 1970 to the present, but includes a range of international comparisons and examples. In addition, exemplar chapters offer a model of analysis that can be used to deconstruct the representations of social policy issues.
This book is vital reading for postgraduate students in the areas of education studies, literacy, discourse analysis and multimodality.
1. Introduction Part I: Constructing Imaginaries Using Different Semiotic Resources 2. Literacy by Numbers 3. Visualising Literacy 4. The Powers of Voice Part II Domains of Imagination 5. Governing Literacy 6. Literacy in the News 7. Speaking from Experience 8. Conclusion
Mary Hamilton is Professor of Adult Learning and Literacy, co-director of the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning and Associate Director of the Literacy Research Centre at Lancaster University, UK.
She has written extensively on policy, practice and everyday learning in adult literacy and is co-author of a number of books including Local Literacies (reissued 2012, Routledge); Powerful Literacies (with Jim Crowther and Lynn Tett) and Changing Faces of Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy: A Critical History (with Yvonne Hillier).