Blog Post #2

In the essay “The Consequences of Literacy” Jack Goody and Ian Watt, highlight and validate their opinions on how society values literacy. Five themes I though most prevalent in their arguments were that of sociology, cultural relativism, “domestication”, adaptation of development, and the growth of individuality.

Watt and Goody go on to describe the domestication of the savage mind. (pg4) They discuss opinions about how we divide ourselves from the primitive minds that came before us and how we allow ourselves embrace our advancements, somewhat through our divide. This component contributes to the essay by allowing the reader to get a sense of how our minds have evolved and how we’ve overcome our barriers as communicators.

Adaptation to development (in terms of language) (pg5) was another important concept brought to light by Watt and Goody, adaptation being how we’ve evolved our language. They express that apart from vocabulary the development of language has had little impact on social change. I found this concept pretty vast. I’m going to go ahead and disagree with them on this one and say, I do think the way we’ve adapted to language has had a very large impact on our development.

My absolute favorite argument was that of the growth of individuality. (pg9) Watt and Goody give a fabulously wordy generalization of how the growth of individuality came to be. Terms like “organic solidarity” were how they choose to express how we’ve grown into ourselves as a culture. I’m assuming organic solidarity has something to do unity in unbiased and comfortable settings– perhaps where one is able to feel comfortable in being them, think for themselves without judgments or social pressures.

All three of these arguments play an important role in Goody’s essay. The essay itself is about how we’ve evolved overtime in language and expression. Domestication is so significant in how we’ve come to communicate as a society. The traits we have now as humans have everything to do with how we domesticated in earlier times. Adaptation to development is heavily linked to domestication. We adapt everyday to new languages and ways of communication without even realizing. Growth of individuality is less connected to the first two concepts but equally ubiquitous to the essay. How our minds have been able develop in our society and the importance of freethinking in language and communication has everything to do with the evolution in our communication. Overall the essay was multi faceted, and vast in concepts and linking connections to the concepts.

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1 Response to Blog Post #2

  1. Interesting, you begin with themes and then you move to arguments. I’d like you to explain more concerning the notion of “growth of individuality.”

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