This handbook marks the transformation of the topic of literacy from the
narrower concerns with learning to read and write to an interdisciplinary
enquiry into the various roles of writing and reading in the full range of
social and psychological functions in both modern and developing societies.
It does so by exploring the nature and development of writing systems, the
relations between speech and writing, the history of the social uses of
writing, the evolution of conventions of reading, the social and
developmental dimensions of acquiring literate competencies, and, more
generally, the conceptual and cognitive dimensions of literacy as a set of
social practices. Contributors to the volume are leading scholars drawn
from such disciplines as linguistics, literature, history, anthropology,
psychology, the neurosciences, cultural psychology, and education.