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Dismantling universals : literacy within the context of globalization

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Dismantling universals : literacy within the context of globalization

Scully, Maureen (2008) Dismantling universals : literacy within the context of globalization. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The focus of this thesis is literacy but it is also about the veiled urgencies of becoming literate. Fueled by the restructuring of the labour market and profound structural changes in the economy, a social narrative developed warning nations that they were unprepared to meet and possibly benefit from the challenges of globalization. As the neo-liberal goals of accountability and of performativity have begun to reframe both education and literacy, it has become ideologically strategic for governments to quantify and measure literacy. Instruments, such as the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALLS), have been created in alliance with the OECD, to address the fears that the purported downward spiral of falling standards of education and literacy will result in both the inability to competitively survive within the global marketplace and of being overtaken economically by other countries. This thesis argues that within this global economic framework, a revised hegemonic form of functional literacy has become the latest unquestioned benchmark required by the knowledge workers of new capitalism . Questions asked by the alternate approach of New Literacy Studies (NLS), such as, "whose literacy?", "at what cost?", "for what purpose?" and "in what context?", are not considered by this hegemonic form. A significant way that market ideology is naturalized is through commodified and de-historicized language. This thesis applies aspects of Gee and Fairclough's approaches to Critical Discourse Analysis to explore the language of the ALLS in an attempt to question the consensual perception of both literacy and globalization.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Scully, Maureen
Pagination:viii, 117 leaves : col. ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Educational Studies
Date:2008
Thesis Supervisor(s):Cleghorn, Ailie
ID Code:975961
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:17
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:41
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