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ERIC Number: ED406675
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Coherent Contradictions: Product Analyses in a Process-Oriented Field.
Miles, Libby
In "Fragments of Rationality" (1992), Lester Faigley says that the practice of making contradictions coherent has a great deal to do with the power a writing teacher exercises in the classroom. The way in which historians of writing use textbooks in their research, however, removes power from the writing teacher and from the classroom, locating it instead in the book itself and with the historian who analyzes and interprets it. Faigley states that "textual coherence is privileged because it reduces conflict to a matter of textual tensions." This is the coherent contradiction in the historiographical method. Faigley is supporting a research methodology that explicitly takes into consideration a contextual and institutional analysis of the documents under analysis. Most scholarship concerning textbooks has a product orientation (75%) versus a process orientation. Textbooks are used in ways that separate the published textbook from its mode of production and the material conditions which gave rise to it. While authors and publishers affect the text prior to publication, teachers and students generate texts using the textbook after it leaves the publishers' warehouse. A method which delves more into the processes surrounding textbook production and dissemination and which actively seeks out a range of discursive traces from a range of voices within the power structure would be a more productive historiography. (Contains a chart showing avenues of inquiry for composition textbooks, a list of discursive traces for a historiography, and 9 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A