WP143 Literacy practices, linguistic anthropology and social inequality



Covering classroom reading, Ebonics, multilingual shop signs, No Child Left Behind and the state, Collins argues that to understand literacy or language policy as a social practice, we have to examine how policy operates as multiple levels, from national legislation to face-to-face interaction in classrooms. To conduct such multi-leveled analysis, we need to focus on hegemony and state effects. Hegemony encourages us to examine how class stratification and cultural assumptions about language converge in the school. The Gramscian emphasis on state as well as civil society suggests that language policies must be seen in relation to historical political economies that inform official definitions of ?language problems? as well as popular perceptions of kinds of citizens and kinds of minorities.