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ERIC Number: ED401593
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Derrida Meets IBM: Using Deconstruction To Teach Business Communication Students.
Rice, H. William
The business communications teacher helps the student learn to write the proposal that wins a promotion or the sales letter that wins new customers. Students poised to enter the business world need language theories as much as students studying literature, for the corporate language culture is as unpredictable and ambiguous as any literary text. Using deconstruction is practical, since it is an activity, not just a theory of how language works. Jacques Derrida begins with the difference between the written and the spoken word. Deconstruction seeks systematically to explore the lag between what is meant and what is said. Students must learn how to interrogate language and to see that as far as language goes, the teacher does not have all the answers either. In an assignment where the teacher has limited control, the class is divided into self-selected groups of four or five and turned into a "company." The groups are then provided with scenarios lacking in details--they must come up with a plan to make their division profitable. Communication must take place, and it must be in writing. The process is informed by perceptions associated with Derrida: that language is inherently ambiguous, that meaning is created by writer and reader, and that any text says what the writer intended to say and what the writer never intended to say. Variations on this assignment can make it more traditional, and eventually the again logocentric teacher assigns a grade. (NKA)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A