What's the origin?
In thinking about, expanding and revising my current conceptions of literacy, I have come to question just why it matters so much, or more specifically where the necessity came from. Obviously in this day and age it matters. It matters who speaks the “dominant” language; it matters who speaks it in the “right way;” it matters who will not ever have the chance. As we have learned, literacy and power, colonialism, patriarchy and oppression are all interrelated, always. You cannot separate “cultural capital” from the conception of using language “correctly” and thus effectively. During class we have begun critiquing the power structures and hierarchies that are so intrinsic within our system, the mentalities that are so central to the debate over literacy and the need to define one particular “right” way. We acknowledge that such necessities exist. My question is—why? Where does this need to hierarchize come from? Is it a western, white, patriarchal ideal—simply because those are the people who benefit? Something that these people devised and managed to convince the rest of the world to buy into? Or is the competition somehow more central to human nature universally? Perhaps harkening back to the survival of the fittest mentality. Today we live by a series of rules, constraints that determine who has power and who does not. But who originally had the ability to decide that their way was the right way? Who came up with the definitions in the first place? I have no answers to these questions but I am curious. I want to know the origin of all these hierarchies and debilitating factors that we find so frustrating now. Our world is so restricted and I wish I knew a little more about why.