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ERIC Number: ED358447
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Rehearsing New Subject Positions: A Poststructural Look at Expressive Writing.
Jonsberg, Sara Dalmas
Poststructural theory grapples with the hiddenness and complexity of oppression by questioning Western understandings of the self as a unitary, self-created, autonomous, essentialist entity. Feminist psychologists have shown that autonomy as a measure of maturity implies that women will never "grow up" because women's lives tend to be anchored in webs of relationships. In deconstructing the traditional model of self, poststructuralism suggests that selfhood is defined by social forces expressed in discourse. With the old model of self, expressive writing was about discovering the essential self. According to a poststructuralist model, expressive writing may be seen more as an examination of oneself in relation to social discourses. For students in an open admissions setting, even an elementary sort of academic discourse is a long-range goal rather than a present condition. The narrative of a high school drop-out reveals the process of his developing a new relationship toward a history of academic failure which he had previously internalized. The narrative of a young mother married to a drug addict discloses the process of her realization that the happy-ever-after fairy tales which led her to see her husband as a prince regardless of his behavior are deceptive models of married life. For these students, writing is a way of rehearsing new subject positions. It is the writing instructor's task to help students discover the possibility of challenge and resistance writing can provide. (Portion of student essay attached.) (SAM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A