- Second, she wanted to make explicit how literacy or documentation requirements of systems like ISO pose contradictions and dilemmas for both workers and managers that are about "meanings in use"……
She illustrated how different meanings that workers and managers give to literacy practices reflect power, social relations, work practices and values that are part of a larger company culture. She also discussed the implications when there is a gap between "policy" and "actual practice" in how paperwork is accomplished.
When I first read the chapter, I'm not sure I really appreciated the significance of Folinsbee’s case study and the findings. Her study was conducted inside a factory. Most of my work experience is from working in an office. The workers in her case study were mostly "blue collar" workers. In contrast, my job background thus far has been "white-collar," i.e. chained to a computer 8-10 hours a day. In short, I did not believe that Folinsbee’s study had implications for my work environment – but the insights acquired from my 1-2-3 project proved to me I was dead wrong.
What has changed? I can now personally empathize with the major points made in the Folinsbee case study—and most important – I can see their applicability beyond the factory. For example, I now greatly appreciate the significance of different "meanings in use" between managers and workers and the consequences associated with these differences. During my 1-2-3 Project I listened to testimonies on how different "meanings in use" can negatively impact a worker’s level of stress, workload, and sense of job satisfaction.
I am also more appreciative of the "situated" literacies that the workers develop to cope with the different "meanings in use." Whether or not a person has earned a GED or a PhD – in both cases I better respect and acknowledge how workers become "experts" in devising process orientated workarounds that attempt to bridge the gap between their expectations and managers. In summary, I have gained a new appreciation for the sociocultural approach to literacy and realize that the insights gained from the Folinsbee case study, and my 1-2-3 Project, would not have been acquired from a cognitive-psychological view of literacy.