chapter  7
18 Pages

The Everyday and Faraway: Revisiting Local Literacies

ByMary Hamilton

The project I have revisited was carried out in the early 1990s and reported in a book called Local Literacies (Barton & Hamilton, 1998). The project was a 3 year ethnographic study of individuals living in one neighborhood of the town in the North West of England in which I lived, and still live. The study was a situated account of the uses and meanings of reading and writing in this partic - ular community. It linked data and theory, and developed new (for the time) theoretical concepts that would enable us to extrapolate our findings beyond the specific context to the wider world of literacy practices. It was self-consciously interdisciplinary, with reference points in Heath (1983) (education and the ethnography of communication); Street (1984) (anthropology); Scribner and Cole (1981) (cross-cultural psychology) and Graff (1987) (social history).