lørdag 3. september 2011

Barton and Hamilton on Literacy

Can the frequence of words say something about meaning in a text? I want to examine this by using cloud tags on definitions. I want to look for the differences in definitions of words or phenomenons. Since I'm now a master student in the subject of literacy at the University of Stavanger, it will very much relate to literacy; reading and writing.

The text in the cloud tag below is from Local literacies: reading and writing reading and writing in one community by David Barton,Mary Hamilton. This is the proper text: Literacy is primarily something people do; it is an activity, located in the space between thought and text. Literacy does not just reside in people's heads as a set of skills to be learned, and it does not reside on paper, captured as texts to be analysed. Like all human activity literacy is essentially social, and it is located in the interaction between people. This book is studying what people do with literacy: og the social activities, and of the texts utilised in such activities. It is about how a particular group of people use reading and writing in their day-to-day lives. Of necessity; the book is particular; it sets out from individual people's lives and particular literacy events at a certain point in history. At the same time it is also about the general nature of literacy and about the state of literacy in the world at the end of the twentieth century. (Barton & Hamilton 1998: 3)

created at TagCrowd.com
As you can see, Barton & Hamilton uses words like people, activity, texts, resides, lives, social when they speak about literacy. It is fun to recognize that words we normally think of regarding literacy, is barely present; reading and writing, skills and learnes. My understanding of the text has certainly been changed. I certainly want to analyze texts more by using cloud tags, it reminds me a bit about using mind maps. 

What do you think? Could this tool be used scientifically or is it just for fun? 
Objections could be: 
How about referencial words like pronouns and determinatives - should they be counted in? 
Or does verbs, adjectives and nouns count more than referential words (pronouns and determinatives)?

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