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ERIC Number: ED425480
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr-3
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Building Boundaries in Writing Programs: The Dangers of Shifting Discourse in Administrative Communication.
Baker, Anthony D.
Noting a recent trend in scholarship of using narratives to warn teachers of the possible dangers of un-theorized and uncritical utilization of technology in the writing classroom, this paper offers a story that does not involve students, anonymous messages, or private files that inadvertently become public, but instead concerns a series of communications between educators involving discourse in several different media: email, memos, and business letters. According to the paper, the story illustrates the need to focus this critical examination not only on electronic communication but also on the various media of written communication. The paper examines the discourse to address the differences between email documents and written letters, how the different discourse media are used by their writers, and how the discourse medium affects the conversation. It concludes that in the discourse (regarding staffing policy), power relationships among the three educators are made visible, are negotiated, and are subverted in such seemingly neutral formal devices such as inside addresses and letterheads. The paper shows that each writer stakes out a particular subject position and proceeds to construct specific identities for the reader by exploiting the formal aspects of the chosen discourse medium. It contends that shifting discourse from one forum to another without critical examination of the chosen media is dangerous. Administrative communication, it is suggested, like any writing tool used in or out of the classroom, requires critical attention as it is used. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A