What is Literacy?

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What is Literacy? Empty What is Literacy?

Post  danbo on Wed Oct 08, 2014 3:34 pm

Gee does his best to define literacy by defining and putting other related aspects into context. Gee shows the relevance of learning literacy versus acquiring it through mostly social interactions. Gee starts his definition of literacy by first talking about discourse, discourse Gee says, is the way in which we identify ourselves based on who we are with and who our audience may be. In a primary discourse we act according to what standards we acquire through our primary relationships such as dealing with parents and even siblings. Our discourses as put by Gee is our "identity kit", it is how we act and it is the role we play. Literacy is how well we control or use our discourses in particular situations. Gee says that an individual who possess "dominant literacy" is able to control secondary language while in a dominant discourse. Powerful literacy as defined by Gee is when an individual is capable of using secondary language and discourse to critique the primary discourse of that individual.

I thought of literacy as an individuals ability to read and write prior to reading "What is Literacy" by James Paul Gee. After reading Gees definition of literacy I now see literacy as the "you" that we choose to use in a particular situation. Even more than that literacy is our ability to address our audience in the most affective way. When I think about my literacy story in light of Gees definition I feel that I have a better grasp of my discourses and using the most effective one than I might when it comes to the actual vernacular of a discourse as I previously understood was the definition.


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