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Technology, Literacy and the Evolution of Society: Implications of the Work of Jack Goody


reviewed by Michael Corbett April 09, 2007

coverTitle: Technology, Literacy and the Evolution of Society: Implications of the Work of Jack Goody
Author(s): David R. Olson and Michael Cole (Eds.)
Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Mahwah, NJ
ISBN: 0805854029 , Pages: 376, Year: 2006
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…a lot of money is spent training people to be migrants and to have rather minor jobs. (Jack Goody in Pallares-Burke, 2002, p. 12) Jack Goody’s work problematizes several core assumptions about education, technology and social development. The idea that literacy and formal education propel individuals and societies unproblematically into modernity is, for Goody, a deeply problematic human capital myth. The establishment of a type of formal education that elevated the use of English and the written word did not lead to an imagined industrial take-off in Ghana, the cultural context of Goody’s early anthropological work. Rather, it supported outmigration rather than internal modernization. In other words, the simplistic equation of literacy and western education with social development and industrial progress (still imagined in most educational policy around the world), in Goody’s analysis, does not work. Comparative cultural studies and postcolonial educational policy tended to look at non-western culture in relation... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: April 09, 2007
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 14165, Date Accessed: 5/29/2017 4:57:14 PM

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About the Author
  • Michael Corbett
    Acadia University, Nova Scotia
    E-mail Author
    MICHAEL CORBETT is an Associate Professor at Acadia University School of Education.
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