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ERIC Number: EJ940539
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0994
In the Name of Citizenship: The Writing Classroom and the Promise of Citizenship
Wan, Amy J.
College English, v74 n1 p28-49 Sep 2011
This article examines the will to make citizenship central in the writing classroom and unpacks the "ideological freight" connecting literacy and citizenship production. First, the author analyzes how scholars and professional organizations (as the public face of the field) frame the conversation about citizenship. She examines the rhetorical function of citizenship, namely how the flexibility of the term can imbue the work of higher education--and more specifically, the writing classroom--with a sense of its larger societal impact while the term's ambiguity allows for unspoken and sometimes conflicting beliefs about what citizenship is. In order to counteract what she will call the "ambient" nature of the use of citizenship, the author analyzes three key factors that have helped establish citizenship as a super-term and underlie its unspoken assumptions in the teaching of writing: (1) the infinite flexibility that comes from shifting definitions of citizenship; (2) the pervasive belief that citizenship is an achievable status by individuals who have the will for it; and (3) the implicit understanding that equality and social mobility are synonymous with and can be achieved through citizenship. With the introduction of these three influences on one's thinking about citizenship, the author articulates and clarifies how citizenship often serves as shorthand for a variety of objectives in the writing classroom. In the conclusion, she discusses how these influences come together in the current connections among citizenship, work, and the writing classroom by situating literacy learning within the larger project of higher education and its vocational trends. (Contains 6 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A