The Anthropology of Writing: Understanding Textually Mediated Worlds

The Anthropology of Writing: Understanding Textually Mediated Worlds

David Barton

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1441128891

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

We live in a textually-mediated world where writing is central to society, its cultural practices and institutions. Writing has been the subject of much research but it is usually highly visible and valued texts that are studied -- the work of novelists, poets and scholars.

The studies included in this book examine every day acts of writing and their significance. Ordinary quotidian writing may be viewed as mundane and routine, but it is central to how societies operate and the ways individuals relate to each other and to institutions.

Examples discussed in the book including writing in areas such as farming, photo-sharing, childcare work and health care. The chapters are united in their approach to examining this writing as cultural practice. The book also brings together two important traditions of this type of study: the Anglophone and Francophone. The work of French scholars in this field is made accessible for the first time to the Anglophone world. The insights and research in this collection will appeal to all linguists, anthropologists, sociolinguistics and cultural theorists.


















Joly, N. (2004), ‘Ecrire l’événement: le travail agricole mis en mémoire’. Sociologie du travail, 46, 511–527. Jones, K. (2000a), ‘Texts, mediation and social relations in a bureaucratised world’. In M. Martin-Jones & K. Jones (eds.), Multilingual Literacies. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 209–228. Jones, K. (2000b), ‘Becoming just another alphanumeric code: farmers’ encounters with the literacy and discourse practices of agricultural bureaucracy at the livestock auction’. In D. Barton, M. Hamilton &

development. All observation and planning was linked to particular named and numbered sections of one of the ‘frameworks’, produced by the DCSF in response to the recommendations of Every Child Matters, within which all childcare providers were expected to work: Birth to Three for younger children, or the Foundation Level for pre-schoolers.3 Full-time staff were expected to complete around eight to ten observation sheets a week. These included a brief written description of some aspect of a

children. Thea needs to respond to the childled interruptions at an immediate level to maintain order in the room and to keep the children’s activities going, but also in the longer-term perspective to maintain her relationship with them. It is an important part of her role that the children should feel they can approach her with their problems and difficulties, to share their interpersonal conflicts or their moments of pride, and that they should trust that she will respond to them

‘scientific’ management techniques such as the breaking down of complex activities into simple repetitive tasks, and the routinization and standardization of working practices. Critics saw this as de-skilling and as an attack on workers’ control over their work situation. This farm has the legal status of a GAEC, Groupement Agricole d’Exploitation en Commun, a non-trading partnership allowing farmers to work together under conditions similar to those of a family farm. References Albert, J.-P.

The Anthropology of Writing On the address side Rob C stuck the stamp on upside down, whether by accident or intent. The postmark is of Bramley, Yorkshire, at 9 p.m. on 29 August 1907, a Thursday (see Figure 9.2). We have began calculating the distances between sender and addressee on a random sample of our cards and the distance of this one, 86 miles is actually very typical of our results of this exercise so far. The layout of the card illustrates the regulatory framework within which some

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