Classy Writers

Classical Writers

Defining discourse community Discourse community is “a group of people, members of a community, who share a common interest and who use the same language, or discourse, as they talk and write about that interest” (CCC).

Defining discourse community Discourse community is “a group of people, members of a community, who share a common interest and who use the same language, or discourse, as they talk and write about that interest” (CCC). Discourse community is a term for the sorts of “groups within which we humans act out distinctive identities and activities” (Gee, “Discourse”). Specifically, Gee calls “writing-saying-doing-being-valuing-believing combinations” as “Discourse,” with a capital “D.” To him, “discourse” with a little “d” means “connected stretches of language that make sense, so “discourse” is part of “Discourse’’ (Gee, “Literacy” 6). Here are some examples of discourse communities: Asian/American community at Miami (an example of sociocultural, racial, or ethnic discourse communities) Yoga community (a discourse community forms around an activity or practice) Harry potter fans (fandom as a discourse community) International travelers on Instagram Faculty and students in a Studying Abroad Program (e.g. Fulbright scholarship program) Feminist discourse community surrounding the #metoo movement (an online discourse community) a multi-racial advocacy group against white supremacy foodies of a particular type of food Project description In this project, you will research a discourse community that is relevant and meaningful to your studies, professions, or life. The purpose goal of this research project is to understand how that discourse community works: how the chosen discourse community establishes, maintains, and knows itself. The discourse community you choose for Project 2 could be one of following types: a sociocultural or political community, perhaps one related to your identities, academic interests, professional goals, or personal life. a group formed around an activity or practice a group formed around an avocation (e.g. an artistic, hobbyist, or adventure society) a specific community within your academic discipline Specifically, the discourse community you choose needs to be: Option 1: a discourse community of another culture, in another country, or in another geopolitical place. Option 2: a discourse community that you’re not yet a member but want to become a part of, that is, a discourse community that deeply interests you but you’re not yet fully involved in or completely familiar with. Examples of discourse communities see above If you’re unsure about your topic selection, please ask. I’m more than happy to talk! Guidelines on selection and analysis of a discourse community 1. As you explore, narrow your attention as much as possible. Seek out smaller and sustained groups within a community. For instance, how might Vloggers who are basing, living, studying abroad constitute a discourse community within the larger Vloggers community? how might international Chinese students constitute a discourse community within the broader Chinese/American community? 2. When analyzing the chosen discourse community, start with specific (1) artifact, (2) text (or multimodal equivalents like films, websites, documentaries, etc.), or (3) activity and practice of that discourse community. Then, use these artifacts, texts, and practices to trace out the assumptions, values, beliefs, preoccupations, concerns, preferences, tendencies, common goals, ethos, authority, or thinking patterns of that discourse community. For instance, focus on a specific genre or medium that discourse community uses, a specific doing that discourse community practices, an artifact it produces, a technology it employs, a place (online or offline) that the members go to, etc. 3. Invention questions. Use the following invention questions, which can propel and frame your essay: What are the discursive patterns of the community? What rhetorical trends and argumentative tactics do you detect? What unstated assumptions operate in the texts, artifacts, or practices you examine? What are the underlying beliefs, values, preferences, or tendencies of these texts, artifacts, and practices? What are the broadly agreed sets of common goals that the members have? Do they share a similar preoccupations or concern? Why? How well defined is the community? What are its borders? Where does it stop and start? Does the community have an expressed identity? What is its ethos? What challenges do they face? In response to the challenges, how do they act, be, or practice differently? (i.e. transformation of the same practice across communities) How does genre/medium play out in this discourse community? Through what venues do the members communicate with each other? Do they rely on particular technology? How do they use these venues and technologies to communicate? Does it have an explicit antagonist or opposing force? If so, how does that feed or function within the community? Project requirements 1. Sources Discourse Community Artifacts or texts: Examine at least two textual examples (or multimodal equivalents) from your chosen discourse community. In other words, analyze, cite, or incorporate texts or items of artifacts that give voice to your chosen community. These texts or artifacts can be–e.g. articles, pictures, emails, blog posts, mission statements, clips of interviews, passages from the transcripts, clips of films, excerpts from comics. Core Readings/Texts: Integrate relevant academic terms, concepts, and passages from our course readings (e.g. Gee, Swales, etc.). Secondary Outside Sources: Integrate four outside, secondary sources to help you understand and analyze the features and nature of the discourse community. Apply MLA format and citation style. (I’m familiar with all major citation styles, so if you’d like to use something other than MLA, e.g. APA, Chicago, consult with me ahead of time.) 2. Proposal (500-600 words). Respond to the following questions: Which discourse community are you thinking to research? Is it a discourse community of another culture or in another geopolitical place (option 1)? Is it a discourse community that you want to become a member of (option 2)? Rationalize why the group you choose is a discourse community. Reflect upon your positionality: (1) Why do you want to research the chosen discourse community? How is the chosen discourse community related to your identities, academic interests, professional goals, or personal life? (2) your relationships, interactions, and/or experiences with this DC Describe your current impressions or assumptions about this DC. What texts, artifacts, or examples of practices and activities do you need to gather in order to write about this DC? Do you have access to these information? 3. Write an essay of minimum 1800 words that thoroughly describes the elements of your chosen discourse community; minimum 1000 words for the 1st draft

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