Illiteracy means to be unable to write or read, and understand at the same time, a simple message related to daily life. With the awareness that there were many illiterates in France in 1980, an interdepartmental group was created - the standing group for struggle against illiteracy -, whose aims and activities are presented here by Marie-France Hau Rouchard, one of the managers. The sociologist Patrice Noisette studies the arguments of the different institutions involved and insists on the need for a thought which will include illiteracy in the overall field of the social communication.