Cultural literacy


Cultural literacy

Cultural literacy is familiarity with and ability to understand the idioms, allusions, and informal content that create and constitute a dominant culture. From being familiar with street signs to knowing historical references to understanding the most recent slang, literacy demands interaction with the culture and reflection of it. Knowledge of a canonical set of literature is not sufficient in and of itself when engaging with others in a society, as life is interwoven with art, expression, history, and experience. Cultural literacy requires familiarity with a broad range of trivia and implies the use of that trivia in the creation of a communal language and collective knowledge. Cultural literacy stresses the knowledge of those pieces of information that content creators will assume the audience already possesses.

See also

Further reading

  • E. D. Hirsch Jr. (1987). Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-43095-X. 
  • Christenbury, Leila "Cultural Literacy: A Terrible Idea Whose Time Has Come" The English Journal 78.1 (January 1989), pp. 14-17.
  • Broudy, Harry S. "Cultural Literacy and General Education" Journal of Aesthetic Education 24.1, (Special Issue: Cultural Literacy and Arts Education,Spring, 1990), pp. 7-16.
  • Anson, Chris M. "Book Lists, Cultural Literacy, and the Stagnation of Discourse" The English Journal 77.2 (February 1988), pp. 14-18.
  • Zurmuehlen, Marilyn "Serious Pursuit of Cultural Trivialization" Art Education 42.6 (November 1989), pp. 46-49.
  • Simpson, Alan "The Uses of "Cultural Literacy": A British View" Journal of Aesthetic Education 25.4, 25th Anniversary Issue Winter, 1991), pp. 65-73.
  • Reedy, Jeremiah "Cultural Literacy and the Classics" The Classical Journal 84.1 (October 1988), pp. 41-46.
  • Murray, Denise E. Diversity as Resource. Redefining Cultural Literacy (Alexandria, Virginia) 1994.

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