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Literacy and the Politics of Writing (PB)
Out of Print
Price £21.50, $43
ISBN 9781841508825
Paperback 188 pages

Published June 2000
Imprint: Intellect
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Chapter Titles     |      Comments

With the growth of modern information technology, it is time to re-examine the concept and purpose of writing, and question the long cherished idea that the alphabet stands at the apex of a hierarchy towards which all 'proper' forms of writing must necessarily progress.

This beautifully illustrated book shows that the primary purpose of writing is the ability to store and transmit information, information essential to the social, economical and political survival of a particular group. Writing, in whatever form, allows the individual the interact with the group, to acquire an amount of knowledge that far outweighs the scope of memory (oral traditions), and to be free to manipulate this knowledge and arrive at new conclusion.

Providing a quick and easy entrance to information related to the subject, the volume contains a network of references leading the reader towards further information, and most entries are listed with bibliographical notes.

Chapter titles
Chapter 1: 'What is Writing?'
Page 3
Chapter 2: 'Non-linguistic forms of Writing'
Page 16
Chapter 3: 'The Introduction of Language Elements'
Page 30
Chapter 4: 'Extinct Scripts: the Infastructure of Palace and Temple'
Page 39
Chapter 5: 'The Common Origin of Comtemporary Writing Systems'
Page 65
Chapter 6: 'The Special Place of Certain Writing Systems'
Page 81
Chapter 7: 'The Political Success of Unsuitable Writing Systems'
Page 92
Chapter 8: 'Script Inventors and Script Inventions'
Page 105
Chapter 9: 'Rewards and Problems of Decipherment'
Page 118
Chapter 10: 'Calligraphy - a Corporate Logo?'
Page 126
Chapter 11: 'What is a Book?'
Page 141
Chapter 12: 'Printing, the Writing Masters and the Internet'
Page 159
Chapter 13: 'What is Literacy?'
Page 171
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