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Genres Literacies
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Genres Literacies


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  • 1. Genres as Social Action
    • Each genre is “a complex pattern of repeated social activity and rhetorical performances arising in response to a recurrent situation”.
    • Written genres as “broad rhetorical strategies enacted within a community to regularize writer/reader transactions in ways that enable creation of particular knowledge”.
    • Genre as “a way to ensure the production of ‘community-based discourse’ – a discourse whose meaning is created by and for the collective or group”
    • Genre as “a distinctive profile of regularities across four dimensions:
      • A set of texts
      • Composing processes involved in creating those texts
      • Reading practices used to interpret them
      • Social roles performed by writers and readers
  • 2. Literacies
    • “ Socially recognized ways of generating, communicating and negotiating meaningful content as members of Discourses through the medium of encoded texts.”
    • We may distinguish/relate “Literacies” and “literacies” – i.e., L/literacies – parallel to the way Gee distinguishes D/discourses, such that practices like “Facebooking” (or “participating in online social networking sites”), “internet meme-ing” and the like can be understood in terms of L/literacies
  • 3. Socially Recognized WAYS of Doing Things
    • Practices as “socially developed and patterned ways of using technology and knowledge to accomplish tasks”
    • Applying knowledge in conjunction with some technology to accomplish tasks always involves skills, or “co-ordinated sets of actions”
    • Practices comprise technology, knowledge and skills organized in ways that participants recognize, follow, and modify – i.e., they are socially recognized ways of “doing things”
  • 4. Meaningful content
    • Generating and communicating meanings, inviting others to make meaning from our texts, and doing so with others in turn, can only be done by having something to make meaning from ; namely, a kind of content carried as “potential” by a text and actualized as meaningful content through interaction with the text by its recipients. If there is no text there is no literacy.
    • Wider and narrower views can be taken
  • 5. Encoded texts (‘encodification’)
    • Texts that have been “frozen” or “captured” in ways that free them from their immediate context and origin of production, such that they are “(trans)portable” and exist independently of the presence of human beings as bearers of the text.
    • Includes freezing language as a podcast, or photoshopping an image, as much as “letteracy”.
  • 6. Discourses
    • Discourse is the underlying principle of meaning and meaningfulness
    • We “do life” as individuals and as members of social and cultural groups—as “situated selves” (Gee)—in and through Discourses
    • Discourses are meaningful co-ordinations of human and non-human elements
    • Meaning-making presupposes insider knowledge of Discourses, and often goes beyond what is literally “in” signs.
  • 7. Facebook
  • 8. Meme #1
  • 9. Meme #2