Precis : Sponsors of Literacy by Deborah Brandt
In the article, Sponsors of Literacy, the author Deborah Brandt explores the functions of literacy in the American society and examines those who are responsible for the spread of literacy to the public, also known as sponsors of literacy. Before Brandt begins her exploration, she states that, “Literacy looms as one of the great engines of profit and competitive advantage in the twentieth century (Brandt 555)”. Therefore, it is clear that in the American culture, literacy is considered as a very valuable asset especially important for economic status as well. That then becomes the reason why Brandt feels the need to explore the different sponsors of literacy in the American culture.
Brandt then begins to explain her research methods which involved over a hundred people born between the years of 1900-1980. The selected were from diverse communities and had to forgo an in-depth interview that questioned their literacy developments throughout life.
There are three key issues that are stated by Brandt as the purpose of the interviews as well…
(1) How , despite ostensible democracy in educational chances, stratification of opportunity continues to organize access and reward in literacy learning
(2) How sponsors contribute to what is called “the literacy crisis,” that is, the perceived gap between rising standards for achievement and people’s ability to meet them
(3) How encounters with literacy sponsors, especially as they are configured at the end of the twentieth century, can be sites for the innovative rerouting of resources into projects of self-development and social change.
The conclusion that the article seems to take is that literacy is developed through different means for every individual. The sponsors of literacy play an important part, but the individual desire of literacy plays an important part as well. For instance, religion or job placement can be highly effective on the level of literacy used by individuals.