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ERIC Number: ED377513
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Narrative and Literacy: The Functions of Family Stories and Dialogues.
Ott, C. Ann
Pondering the purposes of family stories and transcribed dialogues between family members raises an insight or two concerning the attainment of literacy. For instance, an exchange between two elder members of a family, one a former school teacher, the other a Ph.D., illustrates the spirited nature of arguments in the family. The school teacher never allows the other's academic success to intimidate her, and will use any rhetorical device that comes to her mind to win her point. Potentially serious intellectual issues are explored through humor. Another dialogue recorded en route to a family reunion in 1989 illustrates that family conversations are rhetorical contexts in which knowledge is explored and challenged. It also shows that two of the participants share a decided concern about correctness in language use that younger members of the family are less concerned about. Also, certain stories preserve family history and identity and are told to reinforce the family ethos--that members of this family are smart, good looking, and hard workers. The relevance of these observations to composition studies lies in the fact that American society is still socially stratified. Writing instructors might also ponder the danger of categorizing their students and the value of using composition as a service course. (Contains nine references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A