Waldorf University CH4 Concept of Discourse Community & Genre Analysis HW

Question Description

I’m studying for my Writing class and don’t understand how to answer this. Can you help me study?

should be 4 full pages double spaced not including title and references pages

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Writing as a Community Member + Reflection

In this project, you will contribute to a conversation about how writing, rhetoric, and/or literacy is impacted by community membership. The essay will include a thesis/claim which is then supported by textual evidence pulled from (at least) two of the following list or attachments. The essay will also be accompanied by a short reflection in which you describe what you have learned thus far that has helped you expand or shift your understanding of reading/writing. (4-5 Pages)

PROMPT: In what ways do communities (discourse communities, personal communities, or other) shape writing? Stake a claim (i.e., present a thesis) as to how writing is shaped by communities and then support it with evidence pulled from (at least) two of the readings in the following list or attachments. Your essay must be accompanied by a short reflection (at least one page but no more than three) in which you describe how engagement with the idea of communities impacts your reading and writing.





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V\lr;-hnj abou+ wr-·.-n.;,'3 'Down:. le, would couple of ence analto investi~ems to be _l the writto identify •pic of the >d the con>thers-by ite (1984). those who s we could cing world. !rformance >eech comwmg occalS Fishman f language. those who :es. Finally, •mmunity xh. Such edge also n of speech ed cultural secommun the trivial mnities that hat literary embers are daremore ast. 6 7 I The Concept of Discourse Community 4711 A second reason for separating the two concepts derives from the need to s distinguish a sociolinguistic grouping from a sociorhetorical one. In a sociolinguistic speech community, the communicative needs of the group, such as socialization or group solidarity, tend to predominate in the development and maintenance of its discoursal characteristics. The primary determinants of linguistic behavior are social. However, in a sociorhetorical discourse community, the primary determinants of linguistic behavior are functional, since a discourse community consists of a group of people who link up in order to pursue objectives that are prior to those of socialization and solidarity, even if these latter should consequently occur. In a discourse community, the communicative needs of the goals tend to predominate in the development and maintenance of its discoursal characteristics. Thirdly, in terms of the fabric of society, speech communities are centripetal 9 (they tend to absorb people into that general fabric), whereas discourse communities are centrifugal (they tend to separate people into occupational or speciality-interest groups). A speech community typically inherits its membership by birth, accident or adoption; a discourse community recruits its members by persuasion, training or relevant qualification. To borrow a term from the kind of association readers of this book are likely to belong to, an archetypal discourse community tends to be a Specific Interest Group. 2.3 A Conceptualization of Discourse Community I would now like to propose six defining characteristics that will be necessary and sufficient for identifying a group of individuals as a discourse community. 10 1. A discourse community has a broadly agreed set of common public goals. These public goals may be formally inscribed in documents (as is often the case with associations and clubs), or they may be more tacit. The goals are public, because spies may join speech and discourse communities for hidden purposes of subversion, while more ordinary people may join organizations with private hopes of commercial or romantic advancement. In some instances, but not in many, the goals may be high level or abstract. In a Senate or Parliament there may well exist overtly adversarial groups of members, but these adversaries may broadly share some common objective as striving for improved government. In the much more typical non-adversarial discourse communities, reduction in the broad level of agreement may fall to a point where communication breaks down and the discourse community splits. It is commonality of goal, not shared object of study that is criteria!, even if the former often subsumes the latter. But not always. The fact that the shared object of study is, say, the Vatican, does not imply that students of the Vatican in history departments, the Kremlin, dioceses, birth control agencies and liberation theology seminaries form a discourse community. 2. A discourse community has mechanisms of intercommunication among 11 its members. 12 1472 Chapter 4 The participatory mechanisms will vary according to the community: meetings, telecommunications, correspondence, newsletters, conversations and so forth. This criterion is quite stringent because it produces a negative answer to the case of 'The Cafe Owner Problem' (Najjar, personal communication). In generalized form, the problem goes as follows: individuals A, B, C and so on occupy the same professional roles in life. They interact (in speech and writing) with the same clienteles; they originate, receive and respond to the same kind of messages for the same purposes; they have an approximately similar range of genre skills. And yet, as Cafe owners working long hours in their own establishments, and not being members of the Local Chamber of Commerce, A, B and C never interact with one another. Do they form a discourse community? We can notice first that 'The Cafe Owner Problem' is not quite like those situations where A, B and C operate as 'point'. A, B and C may be lighthouse keepers on their lonely rocks, or missionaries in their separate jungles, or neglected consular officials in their rotting outposts. In all these cases, although A, B and C may never interact, they all have lines of communication back to base, and presumably acquired discourse community membership as a key element in their initial training. Bizzell (1987) argues that the cafe owner kind of social group will be !3 a di ...
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Running head: Writing


Student’s Name
University Affiliation



Generally, writing is mostly influenced by the culture and attributes of a person. The outcome of
a book depends on the level of knowledge and the intellectual capability of a person. When a
person has more knowledge about the subject he or she is writing about, ...

Loko (270)
Purdue University

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