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Rethinking the Goody Myth

Michael Cole

University of California

Jennifer Cole

University of Chicago1

Among Jack Goody’s numerous works, his studies of literacy have had an especially influential and continuing impact on a wide range of different disciplines. Even the briefest search in the Social Citation Index reveals that his work on this topic continues to be used by anthropologists and historians, psychologists and sociologists. The range and depth of Goody’s scholarly contributions to our understanding of literacy make any attempt at a brief but comprehensive summary a difficult undertaking in any circumstances. In approaching an analysis of his contributions to literacy studies appropriate to this occasion, we seek to understand a peculiar ...

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