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First check fuses. The parking lights and dash lights come on with the light switch, but have different fuses. if you have front lights( the switch is good), but no rear, check the grounds in the rear. They are usually mounted to the frame on the drivers side rear. As for the dash they have their own grounds. Places I know are at the steering column and behind the drivers side kick panel. You could also have problems at the plugs them selves, Corrosion. If you have no parking, brake, or reverse lights, it is a ground problem.
Should be able to check the fuses visually. Look for one that has the small metallic connecter (center of fuse) burned or broken. You can buy a small package of replacements from a part store. Ensuer the package has the correct fuse (there will be a color to the fuse, as well as an amperage printed on the top (i.e., 4A). Here is an image of what they typically look like: http://www.electronics123.net/amazon/pictures/afu.jpg.
What year is this vehicle? It might have an ambient light sensor that has failed if it's 90's+,but older it's most likely the dimmer switch. If it's early 80's you should be able to replace it w/o having to removed the dash,just small panel cover nearby.