Community Literacies and Adult Literacy Education

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Literacy as a social practice

This was a study of rural community literacy practices in Uganda.

I used the social practices theory of literacy as a theoretical framework to investigate literacy use in rural community life in Bweyale.

The social practices theory of literacy sees literacy as variable social practice that can only be understood within the social context of its use.

Consistent with the social practices theoretical perspective and following similar research traditions in this area of literacy study, I used ethnographic research methods to collect data and grounded theory methods to analyse data on literacy use in Bweyale.

The study revealed that rural people, contrary to popular perceptions about their illiteracy and hence lack of literacy, actually use reading and writing in a variety of ways in different domains of literacy use.

Literacy pervades most aspects of rural community life, making rural people use literacy in many rich and creative ways.

Most people, regardless of their literacy status, participate in local literacy practices.

The most prominent areas of literacy use in rural community life are livelihood activities, education, religion, bureaucracy, household life, and personal life.

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