Writing and Identity: The Discoursal Construction of Identity in Academic Writing / Edition 1

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Overview

Writing is not just about conveying ‘content’ but also about the representation of self. (One of the reasons people find writing difficult is that they do not feel comfortable with the ‘me’ they are portraying in their writing. Academic writing in particular often poses a conflict of identity for students in higher education, because the ‘self’ which is inscribed in academic discourse feels alien to them.)
The main claim of this book is that writing is an act of identity in which people align themselves with socio-culturally shaped subject positions, and thereby play their part in reproducing or challenging dominant practices and discourses, and the values, beliefs and interests which they embody. The first part of the book reviews recent understandings of social identity, of the discoursal construction of identity, of literacy and identity, and of issues of identity in research on academic writing. The main part of the book is based on a collaborative research project about writing and identity with mature-age students, providing:
• a case study of one writer’s dilemmas over the presentation of self;
• a discussion of the way in which writers’ life histories shape their presentation of self in writing;
• an interview-based study of issues of ownership, and of accommodation and resistance to conventions for the presentation of self;
• linguistic analysis of the ways in which multiple, often contradictory, interests, values, beliefs and practices are inscribed in discourse conventions, which set up a range of possibilities for self-hood for writers.
The book ends with implications of the study for research on writing and identity, and for the learning and teaching of academic writing.
The book will be of interest to students and researchers in the fields of social identity, literacy, discourse analysis, rhetoric and composition studies, and to all those concerned to understand what is involved in academic writing in order to provide wider access to higher education.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556193231
  • Publisher: Benjamins, John Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 3/1/1998
  • Series: Studies in Written Language and Literacy Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 386
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.76 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Theoretical Approaches to Writing and Identity
Ch. 2 Discourse and identity 37
Ch. 3 Literacy and identity 57
Ch. 4 Issues of identity in academic writing 75
Pt. 2 The Discoursal Construction of Identity in Academic Writing: An investigation with eight mature students
Ch. 5 Introduction to Part Two 109
Ch. 6 Rachel Dean: A case study of writing and identity 125
Ch. 7 The origins of discoursal identity in writers' experience 181
Ch. 8 The sense of self and the role of the reader in the discoursal construction of writer identity 215
Ch. 9 The discoursal construction of academic community membership 255
Ch. 10 Multiple possibilities for self-hood in the academic discourse community 281
Conclusion
Ch. 11 Writer identity on the agenda in theory and in practice 327
References 347
Index 363
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