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Chapter 5 Print Language, Literate Culture

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1 Chapter 5 Print Language, Literate Culture

2 Written Language, textual culture
Historical perspective on how technology affected the relationship bet language & culture: Invention of writing (3000 BC) Oral tradition textual tradition Chinese scribal culture/ passing wisdom & truths Text’s meaning/ social prestige ‘literate education’ Clip (24) Respect to textual authority was imp to early religious traditions/ study of sacred texts revelation / to recover the original truths passed orally By God, angels and prophets. The absurdity of the quest of one ‘true’ meaning/ multiple meanings/ legal documents ‘re-interpreted’

3 Print & Power Institutional power ensuring cultural continuity
medieval times/ monks & scribes… gate keepers & interpreters of tradition against cultural change. Print culture: no need to hand copy Religious authority decline Translation of Bible meanings & truth accessible to all Church monopoly replaced by secular power Traditional academic practice imposed its own context of interpretation/ emphasized form over meaning/ interpretation should be independent of reader’s response/ ‘bad student’

4 Social Construction of Literacy
Recent types of literacies linked to various genres: Literary literacy/ press/ instructional manuals/ scientific/ marketing/ novels & poems To be literate to understand & manipulate social & cultural meanings of print language in thoughts, feelings and actions. Children from different social backgrounds different types of literacies. (e.g. narrative style)

5 Text and Discourse Written language can be looked at as either text (fixed and stable) or discourse (interactive and inferential) Text: A stretch of written language as the product of intention has a fixed & stable relation to its context of culture Discourse: (A) via coherence e.g. deictic “this” in poem/ either demonstrative ‘cohesive device’/ or discourse indicative ‘factor of coherence’ (B) via internal cohesion e.g. Aspirin label considering ‘corporate culture’/ commercial & legal interests must be included when interpreting text/ coherent discourse (C) Cultural coherence e.g. ‘American independence’/ most difficult for foreign readers/ drawing on reader’s cultural knowledge

6 Literacy event, prior text, point of view
The interaction of the reader with the text within a social context. Defined by (common social practices with written texts/ common ways of interpretation) Includes situational & cultural dimensions Situational context Events Audience Purpose Text’s register Its key Prior text Point of view Discourse clip

7 Genre Genre: In general ( a class or category of art (or any other field) having a particular form, content, or technique. e.g, the genre of ‘epic poetry’) A socially approved type of communicative event, either spoken or printed. Dependent on specific context of situation or culture. Related to text type & language choice/ e.g. ‘sermon’ register Clip

8 Summary

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