Examining the Plurality of Literacies through the Habermasian Lens

Cheu-jey Lee


This paper is concerned with a critical examination of the plurality of literacies through the Habermasian lens. It begins with a literature review of how the definition of literacy is broadened to include multiple literacies along with their social practices. Yet the proposition for the plurality of literacies also comes with the challenge of how to evaluate them. Jurgen Habermas’s (1981/1984, 1981/1987) theory of communicative action is put forth as a viable framework to provide criteria for evaluating the validity claims made in literacies. This paper concludes with a presentation of the implications for literacy education relocated within Habermas’s framework.

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