ERIC Number: ED465765
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
A Discourse Analysis of Online Social Argumentation.
Steinkuehler, Constance A.
This case study examined the role of field dependence in the failure of an online dyadic discussion of a complex issue, whether or not creationism should be placed on an equal footing with evolution in high school science classrooms. In this study, field is used to designate whole disciplines, rather than factions within disciplines. Using discourse analysis methods developed by J. Gee (1999), the study shows how each individual approaches the given issue from her own field, contributing to the failure of the negotiation. A transcript of an online discussion between two participants in a secondary education course, one an anthropologist by prior training and the other a chemist, was analyzed. Analysis of the discussion shows two opposing situated social activities, establishing interpersonal subjectivity versus intellectual one-upmanship and knowledge display. These social activities shape the arguments each participant constructs. The paper also discusses the limits of field dependence as an explanatory mechanism in this instance and expands the notion that social argumentation is not just field dependent, but also socially situated. The argument an individual produces is not just an outcome of the field of knowledge that the individual makes relevant, but also of the socially situated activity it reflects and helps constitute. An appendix contains a transcription of the discussion. (Contains 26 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: SRI International, Menlo Park, CA.; National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.; National Inst. for Science Education, Madison, WI.
Authoring Institution: N/A