ERIC Number: ED255925
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Mar-22
Reference Count: 0
The Movement from Personal to Group Identity in Expressive Discourse.
McCleary, William J.
A number of questions have been raised about James Kinneavy's theory of expressive discourse, among them the problem of how so many different genres, from the personal essay to the declaration of independence, can be lumped under one aim, self-expression. Another is why self-expression is the only one of the aims to be divided into two general types (personal and group). Nearly all such questions are cleared up if self-expression is seen as a process, a movement from personal to group identity. An individual at first works to find his or her own identity and set personal goals. However, in the meantime, the individual discovers that other people are going through similar processes and that many goals can be achieved only by cooperation with like-minded people. These discoveries then lead to the formation of a group and the composing of the various kinds of discourse required to identify and regulate the group, for example, a declaration of independence and a loyalty oath. Seen in this way, any specific expressive discourse is a step in a process, or potential process, of movement from individual to group identity. Although the three "logical strategies" posited by Kinneavy will still underlie the various genres of expression, such matters as organization and style will be controlled as much by the stage of the processs as by the expressive aim itself. (Author/HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Expressive Writing; Kinneavy (James)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (36th, Minneapolis, MN, March 21-23, 1985).