Literacy inequalities, mediation and the public good:A case study of physical proximity and social distance in Nepal

Maddox, B. and Esposito, L. (2013) Literacy inequalities, mediation and the public good:A case study of physical proximity and social distance in Nepal. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 34 (2). pp. 243-261. ISSN 0142-5692

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Abstract

Literacy is considered to be a public good - one that benefits not only literate people, but also others in society through mechanisms of sharing and mediation. But to what extent do the benefits of literacy extend to socially distant groups? This paper applies the sociological concept of social distance to examine how social stratification impacts on the way that literacy is distributed and 'shared' through mediated practice within and across caste-based groups. The paper presents a case study of physical proximity and social distance in Nepal to examine how literacy is shared in a context where inequalities of literacy and schooling are heavily influenced by gender and caste membership. The findings demonstrate that mediation takes place across caste groups, but less extensively than within caste groups. We conclude that assumptions about how literacy operates as a public good need to be tempered by consideration of the implications of social distance.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Literacy and Development Group
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Education
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Behavioural and Experimental Economics
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2013 13:34
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 08:44
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/43875
DOI: 10.1080/01425692.2012.704722

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