Reading Response Seven: Literacy, Discourse, & Power

Through reading this article, I feel like my understanding and connections of discourse and power has definitely expanded. Of course I’ve always known that there are different types of discourses to use at certain times, but I had never categorized these literacies and analyzed them from a perspective of power and authority. The reading talked about discourse in professional communities, academic communities, and the cost of being affiliated with these communities. As I read, I felt like my perspective changed about how I feel about being a student and spending most of my life in a classroom. Without even realizing it, I’ve discovered that there have always been certain expectations of me as a student, to speak a certain way, at a certain time, to write a certain way, so I can fit in with a certain group in order to follow the rules of the people who had the power and authority, my teachers. At this point in my life, my group is being a student. I feel like I don’t have very much power or authority over my writing right now and I generally have to write and relate my literacy to the standards of those above me. And more importantly, I have to meet the standards of the people who are giving me the grade. It was really easy for me to relate to the academic communities section because I am a student in college fighting to survive and transform my writing to fit the mold of my professor’s expectations. As I was reading, I began to think about the way I’ve adapted my writing and use of words to fit the context of my teachers. I also began to think about our discussions throughout the semester in this class and how I wouldn’t write a paper in my English class the same way I would write a Facebook message to my cousin in Connecticut. I certainly agree with the text in the sense that students are asked to modify their language to fit that of an academic classroom or discipline. This is something I have to do everyday along with the people who sit next to me in the classroom. We sacrifice a lot as students in order to accept the texts, roles, and contexts of academic discourse and I appreciated the fact that this article recognized that and was almost giving us a voice in that it understood our struggle over power and authority in our society over literacy and discourse.



Literacy Is Power

Notes on Reading Response 7


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