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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 23, Issue 1, 2013

Culture, Communication and Cognition

Marta Rakoczy
Pages 27-35

Literacy, Power, Body—Towards Alternative Phenomenology of Writing

The classical phenomenology of writing, postulated by such literacy theoreticians as Walter J. Ong, and Marshall McLuhan, focuses on writing as an instrument of intellectual emancipation, as a technology of intellect. In this article I claim that their view is too narrow. Firstly, as David R. Olson, Harvey Graff and Michel de Certeau point, writing may be an instrument of power and discipline. Secondly, reading and writing are not only the mental practices of scripts organization and interpretation. They are strictly related to specific bodily practices which have important implications for the cultural functioning of literacy.

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