Pickled Literacy

By February 1, 2016 BlogPost No Comments

Being a WRD major means every other class in spend trying to define the elusive term, literacy. Now here I am, a Junior having taken 7 WRD classes and that question is still evading me. However, I think last quarter, I was able to get past what is traditionally thought of as literacy, aka, reading and writing physical texts thanks in large part of Writing In Workplace Contexts.

For the class we spent a majority of the quarter looking at the writing done at different workplaces. I chose to look at Claussen pickles because my dad works there and I figured they had plenty of writing within that workplace.  As the quarter went on and my research at Claussen progressed I found that the plant was full of texts and highly literate workers, but not in the traditional sense. Most of the factory workers at Claussen speak very little if any English, and their education levels are minimal, but in order to keep everyone at the plant safe from harming themselves or the machinery there are signs everywhere designating the workers on what to do. But those signs aren’t written texts. Instead they take shape in varying colored lights, flags, and hand signals. They become literate in the factory floor safety, without being completely traditionally literate.

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