Ruth Finnegan

Literacy & Orality

This influential  work, both inspired by and a riposte to Walter Ong’s  celebrated theory of a great divide between orality and literacy, develops the theme running through much of Finnegan’s oeuvre,  of the continuity and interactions between these two apparent poles. The underlying argument draws on historical, theoretical and comparative material but is also attractive illustrated by vivid case studies from throughout the world,  especially  from Africa and Fiji, her main field sites, making the book not only of value to the expert but accessible for the interested general reader. 


The second edition of this classic work, enlarged and updated, brings the story up to the present era,  and relates it to recent developments  in communication technology.

1st edition, Blackwell, 1988

2nd edition ( expanded and updated), Callender  Press 2014.

© 2020 by Ruth Finnegan. All Rights Reserved.