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LRDG: Reading and discussion session: Collin (2013) Revisiting Jack Goody to Rethink Determinisms in Literacy Studies

Date: 4 February 2014 Time: 1.00-2.00 pm

Venue: C89, County South, Lancaster University

Next week's Literacy Research Discussion Group meeting (Tuesday 4 February) will be a reading and discussion session led by Uta Papen, Lancaster University. We will be discussing the following article:

Collin, R. (2013). Revisiting Jack Goody to Rethink Determinisms in Literacy Studies. Reading Research Quarterly, 48(1), 27-38. The article is available at:

Please contact me if you cannot access it (

Abstract: 'This article revisits Goody's arguments about literacy's influence on social arrangements, culture, cognition, economics, and other domains of existence. Whereas some of his arguments tend toward technological determinism (i.e., literacy causes change in the world), other of his arguments construe literacy as a force that shapes and is shaped by disparate social processes. This article also reviews the critiques of Goody's work developed in the subfield of sociocultural literacy studies. Although the critics are right to object to the elements of technological determinism in his work, their rejection of his larger project leads them to miss ideas that can help clarify literacy's role in the transformation of society. Moreover, their misreading of Goody's work contributes to the field's underestimation of the distinct force of literacy and overestimation of the force of local cultures.' (Collin, 2013: 27)


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: Uta Papen

Organising departments and research centres: Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Linguistics and English Language

Keywords: Interaction, Literacy, sociocultural theory


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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