Download ABC: The Alphabetizaton of the Popular Mind by Ivan Illich, Barry Sanders PDF

By Ivan Illich, Barry Sanders

In ABC... thinker and cultural analyst Ivan Illich and medieval student and literary critic Barry Sanders have produced an unique, meticulous and provocative research of the appearance, unfold and current decline of literacy. They discover he impression of the alphabet on basic concept techniques and attitudes, on reminiscence, on political groupings and religous and cultural expectancies. Their exam of the current erosion of literacy within the new technological languages of 'newspeak' and 'uniquack' and so they indicate how new attitudes to language are changing our global view our experience of self and of neighborhood.

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Close-knit networks are located mainly at the top and bottom of society (at least in Britain), with the majority of Theoretical Background and Previous Research 33 socially and geographically mobile people located between these two points. For close-knit, territorially defined groups, however, they write that it is possible to treat personal networks as if they were bounded groups, and these close-knit ties are an important mechanism of language maintenance. The Milroys make a distinction between innovators and early adopters of an innovation.

Moreover, highly educated and mobile persons can be more selective in their choice of contacts than those embedded in a localised solidarity network, which can be oppressive as well as supportive. Though they re-iterate their belief that in any close-knit network, a weakening of the structure will allow more outside innovation and influence, they acknowledge the problems involved in trying to demonstrate the effect of weak ties. They claim that network analysis is effective at explaining the effects of strong ties, though they concede that it cannot easily demonstrate the effects of weak ties using quantitative methods.

United by this common enterprise, people come to develop and share ways of doing things, ways of talking, beliefs, values – in short, practices – as a function of their joint engagement in activity. [ . . ] The value of [this concept] is in the focus it affords on the mutually constitutive nature of the individual, group, activity, and meaning (Eckert 2000: 35). Theoretical Background and Previous Research 37 Eckert believes that this concept will replace current constructs, as it focuses on the day-to-day co-construction of individual and community identity, emphasising common practice as an explanation for linguistic behaviour.

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