Sunday, July 08, 2007
The mighty book
This weekend I have been listening to some familiar conversations about the pleasure of being lost in a book. The privileging of the book in our conceptions of literacy is persistent but not altogether helpful. Despite the perceived value of sustained and immersive reading, it has to be acknowledged that this is a cultural construct, a pleasurable activity that has become reified as a high status literacy practice. Whatever the benefits of immersive book-reading may turn out to be, in much educational discourse they have a tendency to overshadow the fact that demanding and purposeful uses of literacy in everyday life, however lightweight they may seem in comparison, are nevertheless highly significant social practices. This seems to be particularly true in the case of new literacies and technologically-mediated social networking.