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Social Illiteracy

lgleysteen's picture


Since my post last   Social skills, cognition, and emotional intelligence fall under the category of social literacy.  Social literacy can be associated with an individual’s ability to connect with the people around them. Would someone be considered socially illiterate if they cannot express their ideas in a way that people can understand?  I don’t think being coherent and being literate are the same terms.  I think someone can completely understand what is going on around them but they cannot express their ideas because they are incoherent.  I think that using literacy as an umbrella for multiple capabilities is limiting in a way.  By saying someone is illiterate socially or musically, it promotes the assumption that they have absolutely no skills in that area.  When the words literate or illerate come to my mind, I assume black and white.  Either someone is completely capable, or completely incapable.  There is no grey area.  That is why I don’t think describing someone as socially illiterate is an appropriate term for a person with some sort of social disorder. 


Boyd Coore's picture

Social science illiterate

The social illiterate is, mostly,a slave to rumour. It's a national epidemic!

alesnick's picture

no grey area

I see your point: that calling someone illiterate doesn't tell us much about them and may damage them or their standing in a social scene.  You are making a helpful start on distinguishing among the many social issues/factors/experiences in play.  What about as the people around us change?  What about when a social difference enriches/informs a community?  Is a "disorder" a product of language?