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In its first edition, Social Linguistics and Literacies was a major contribution to the emerging interdisciplinary field of sociocultural approaches to language and literacy, and was one of the founding texts of the 'New Literacy Studies'. This book serves as a classic introduction to the study of language, learning and literacy in their social, cultural and political contexts. It shows how contemporary sociocultural approaches to language and literacy emerged and: * Engages with topics such as orality and literacy, the history of literacy, the nature of discourse analysis and social theories of mind and meaning * Explores how language functions in a society * Surveys the notion of 'discourse' with specific reference to cross-cultural issues in communities and schools. This fifth edition offers an overview of the sociocultural approaches to language and literacy that coalesced into the New Literacy Studies. It also introduces readers to a particular style of analyzing language-in-use-in-society and develops a distinctive specific perspective on language and literacy centered on the notion of "Discourses". It will be of interest to researchers, lecturers and students in education, linguistics, or any field that deals with language, especially in social or cultural terms.