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ERIC Number: ED357350
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
What Does Resistance Look Like in Non-Academic Discourse?
Herndl, Carl; Taylor, Vicki
Teachers of advanced technical and professional writing need to provide credible ways in which their students can extend the cultural critique the teachers try to engage them in into the world outside the classroom. The nature of resistance in nonacademic discourse can be explored to help both the teachers and students think through the imposing tyranny of the "real" professional discourse. The concept of resistance fills the gap between the constraining power of ideology and institutions, and the possibilities for agency and social action. Using Anthony Giddens' theory of "structuration" as a basis to understand resistance in complex social structures, a study was conducted at the White Sands Missile Range, a test facility for missiles, electronic warfare devices, and other operations. The study asked: whether professional nonacademic writers recognize the ideological issues that organize their discourse; whether they recognize that the "reality" with which they deal is institutionally constructed and interested; whether they recognize that they operate from a subject position constructed by institutional power; whether these professionals try to change the discursive and social relations within which they work; and finally, to what end do they push for change--that is, to what social and political values are they committed? A biologist in the environmental division was chosen for a case study since it was suspected that the professional interests and ideology of a civilian biologist would conflict with those of the military command of the facility. All her professional writing was closely examined. Results indicated that: (1) ideological issues of quantification versus qualification appeared regularly; (2) the institutional realities are not accepted as natural, but ideologically constructed; and (3) the biologist understood the tensions inherent in her position. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A