Writing In A Social Context[1]. Discourse Community


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Writing as a social process - discourse community - Logodiversity

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Writing In A Social Context[1]. Discourse Community

  1. 1. Writing in a social context: The importance of the discourse community
  2. 2. Unequal distribution of power <ul><li>Power is inherently present in any human community </li></ul><ul><li>The dynamics of power inadvertently create “haves” and “have-nots,” whether we are speaking about material resources or knowledge . </li></ul><ul><li>In the academy, power translates to the ability to determine what subject matter is considered worthy of attention, what kind of knowledge circulates, and what authors are able to contribute their views and solutions to the problems of a given field of research. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The preeminence of English and the Logodiversity <ul><li>The concentration of power is linked to the preeminence of English. </li></ul><ul><li>The preeminence of English creates a specific power concentration which becomes a barrier for all discourse communities external to English. </li></ul><ul><li>In essence, the global dialogue becomes homogenous, and logodiversity risks extinction . </li></ul>
  4. 4. Writing as a social process <ul><li>Since the eighties, studies on the writing process have pointed out the importance of the social dimension of writing. </li></ul><ul><li>Bizell (1982) has argued that writing should not be viewed solely as an individual cognitive process “but as much as acquired response to the discourse conventions which rise from preferred ways of creating and communicating knowledge within particular communities.” ( Swales 1990, 4) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Discourse communities <ul><li>This perspective of writing as a social process is which has to be present in your personal process of writing. This is related directly to what is called “discourse community”. </li></ul><ul><li>As John Swales has defined it, discourse communities “are sociorethorical networks that form in order to work towards sets of common goals.” (1990, 9) </li></ul>
  6. 6. The implications of the “Discourse community” <ul><li>In accordance with Swales’ definition, we consider the journals, editors, reviewers, authors and readers of peer reviewed sexual and reproductive rights and health, gender and sexuality journals, as a single discourse community. These common goals are what define and bind a socio-rhetorical network, and are expressed in a shared communicative purpose. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Belonging to a discourse community <ul><li>Your target discourse community produces specific texts (papers, books, etc.). The language (which reflects ideologies, topics, approaches and styles) used in these texts constitute the criteria for membership in this particular community. If you want to enter this community, you must be able to use its language. (Swales 10) </li></ul>
  8. 8. The “culture” of a journal <ul><li>To be part of a discourse community involves to manage not just the appropriate styles and ideologies but also to know about the ‘culture’ of that community or of a specific journal. Culture is what is considered “natural”, legitimate”, “normal” and “orthodox” in the respective field. </li></ul>
  9. 9. The importance of master a journal culture <ul><li>Those who have not mastered their field’s culture well enough to pass a “native” tend to be considered outsiders. As a result these outside knowledge-producers are excluded, in spite of the quality, importance, relevance or rigor of their research and writing. </li></ul>
  10. 10. References <ul><li>Bizzell, Patricia. “Cognition, convention and certainty: what we need to know about writing.” PRE/TEXT 3:213-41 </li></ul><ul><li>Swales, John. Genre Analysis. English in academic and research settings . Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, 1990. </li></ul>
  11. 11. http://workshop.eseo.cl Online Writing Workshop