Literacy....

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Literacy....

Post  tranaechatman on Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:18 am

James Paul Gee attempts to define the word literacy by first defining the word discourse. Gee defines discourse as an accepted way of behaving, thinking, and speaking while having a certain role. These roles can range from broad roles, like American or French, to more specific roles, like student or teacher. With discourse, each person behaves in which ever way their role is defined as normal by society. Gee feels that it is also important to note that discourse are based on values and viewpoints that all the people of the discourse must share in common. You also cannot criticize a discourse while being in a discourse; this will in turn put you out of the discourse. A discourse is also defined by the opposing discourses. Gee also notes that each discourse puts forth its beliefs without concern for the beliefs of other discourses and that all discourses are related to social power and hierarchy in society.
After his spill on discourses, he then explains that some discourses are historically and socially defined and completely outside of our control. Gee adds that when dealing with the discourses that we must define the words acquisition and learning; acquisition is the trial and error way of acquiring knowledge while learning is the process of breaking something down into parts and then analyzing it to understand it
Gee has not changed my view of what literacy is because we have not read far enough for him to connect his view of discourses, acquisition, and learning to the actual definition of literacy. However, I find his view of discourses interesting and somewhat untrue. If discourses did not contradict themselves at times, there would be no growth or further development of the discourse. Also, there is no way that all members of a discourse act and speak in the way that the discourse "requires" at all times. People take on different roles and different discourses depending on situation and acceptability among peers.

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