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LINGUIST List 17.1419

Mon May 08 2006

Diss: Socioling: Erguig: 'Uses and Functions of Lite...'

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        1.    Reddad Erguig, Uses and Functions of Literacy in Morocco from 1960s to 1990s

Message 1: Uses and Functions of Literacy in Morocco from 1960s to 1990s
Date: 06-May-2006
From: Reddad Erguig <reddadgmail.com>
Subject: Uses and Functions of Literacy in Morocco from 1960s to 1990s

Institution: Mohamed V University
Program: Languages and Cultures in Contact
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2003

Author: Reddad Erguig

Dissertation Title: Uses and Functions of Literacy in Morocco from 1960s to 1990s

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

Subject Language(s): None ()

Dissertation Director:
Brahim Moussabbir

Dissertation Abstract:

This study investigates the culture of literacy in the Moroccan context,
with a particular emphasis on the historical changes in the uses and
functions of the alphabetic literacy skills of reading and writing. Through
the use of statistics, documents, informal observation, a questionnaire and
interviews, we attempted to shed light on the literacy situation in
post-independent Morocco and highlight the recurrent literacy practices of
a representative sample of Moroccan people and show how they differ
according to gender and urbanity.

The study first shows that people associate a variety of meanings with the
concept of literacy: some of these meanings have been linked with the
concept of literacy regardless of the historical context; whereas other
meanings are determined by the social circumstances in each specific era.

Second, the results of the study reveal that the uses and functions of
literacy have recently become various in kind and multiple in range. Some
of these literacy practices have continued to be important while others
have gained in value. Still new literacy practices have appeared. Such
practices have been found out to be shaped by the context. They are
influenced by gender differences, since men tend to make basically official
uses of reading and writing; whereas women are inclined to make personal
uses of reading and writing. The uses also vary along urbanity lines, since
literacy use is limited in the rural areas.

Third, literacy attitudes have been found out to be mixed since the 1960's.
By and large, the literate were held in great esteem although people in
some rural areas were unaware of the benefits with which literacy was
associated. In the 1990's, similarly, although literacy is stressed as a
means whereby one can meet the everyday life needs, more critical attitudes
are expressed towards it, especially concerning its connection with
employment, because of the saturation of the job market and the
increasingly widespread access to the audiovisual media. The electronic
media and means of communication now perform some of the functions formerly
associated with print literacy. In fact, out of the complex interplay of
different media, the electronic media, which promote 'second' orality and
challenge the role of reading and writing, are widely used; whereas print
media, notwithstanding the increasingly various uses made of them, are used
on a less regular basis. As for 'primary' orality, it has maintained its
role of having access to local information.

The educational and pedagogical implication of such findings is that
campaigns have to be elaborated and launched in different parts of the
country to sensitise people to the danger of marginalising print literacy.
The illiterate ought also to be motivated to participate in anti-illiteracy
campaigns in order to acquire literacy through making them aware of the
utility of literacy in their everyday lives. It would be fruitful, though,
to use the audiovisual media, particularly television and the radio, in
order to contribute to the success of literacy programmes.

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