Are electronic technology societies better off than societies that don’t have access to electronic technology?
I think so, however, I think that certain people use certain technology that works for them in certain situations. In our country, we are quite advanced and have access to unlimited resources right at our fingertips due to cell phones, TVs, and computers. Other countries, like Africa, that aren’t as advanced, have their own forms of technology that works for them but it’s not necessarily “electronic.” Most of their labor is manual whereas many of the major companies in our country use robots and other electronics to get jobs done faster. I think it’s safe to say that their society isn’t as advanced, but I wouldn’t say it is worse off because it’s what works for them and has been working for many years now.
Explain why you can’t use one type of writing for different subjects?
I think that you can’t use one type of writing for different subjects because different subjects focus on certain things. For example, social sciences and sciences are more concerned with when something happened opposed to who wrote. In my Sociology class, I have to write a paper in APA format because the in text citations give the date of when the facts were written. In English, when writing a research paper in MLA format, it’s very important to include the author and give them full credit for the facts or statement you included in your paper. I agree that it would be much easier to use one universal format for every subject and every type of writing, but it’s necessary to distinguish what you’re writing is focusing on, whether it be who wrote it or when it was written.
Today’s class facilitation has definitely expanded my knowledge in cultures and languages, literacies, and discourses. Since my group presented today, all of the knowledge I gained through research and teaching the class has definitely given me a better understanding of how culture and language is all interconnected and the effect it has on society. I didn’t realize how many different aspects make up our culture and the way we speak. One of the challenges my group faced was deciding on how to tie everything together since culture is such a broad topic. It covers a group of peoples language, beliefs, dress, attitude, values, norms, behaviors, and even material objects that are important enough to pass on to future generations of a society. However, I feel like this topic has benefited me in many way. For starters, I have a much better understanding of language and culture simply because I had to teach the class about what it is which has helped me retain the information much better. This topic is also related to what I am currently learning about in my Sociology class which makes it super interesting that I can connect it in two of my classes.
What was most significant for you about today’s class facilitation as it applies to your understanding of Literacies, Discourses, and Contexts? Why was X significant and how can you use what you have learned to continue applying it to this class, your work in the university, and your life beyond the university?
I really enjoyed the activity when we compared the stereotypical labels we discussed as a class and put on the board, and watched the clip from the Breakfast Club. I think it was a good way for the class to interact with each other and it made me think about something that I’ve never really taken into consideration. As we talked more about labels and how we all have discourses that apply to our lives, typically more than one, it became more evident that we adapt to discourses all the time. This was significant to me because I began to analyze myself and consider all of the discourses I’ve accepted and conformed to throughout my life. As I am a college student, I am also an athlete, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a Believer. I have adapted to other discourses to fit in, feel accepted, to survive, etc. All of these things have shaped and defined the person I am today. This discussion helped me realize that things aren’t always as they seem, and people take on multiple roles and discourses in society.
Free Write: In which contexts would you find groups of people with significantly different discourses and literacy than what you are used to? What are some examples of how the groups are different? The way they speak? The way they dress? etc.
“Stereotypical” groups are everywhere, but they seem to be extremely obvious in school, especially in middle school, high school, and college. It is interesting to see how these groups evolve and differ based on age, social status, and even location. Since I moved away from home to college, I have been exposed to groups of people with significantly different discourses and literacies than what I am used to. For instance, I am amazed at the language some people use. Of course curse words were common in high school, but I feel like it is ten times worse in college. I guess it’s so shocking because you typically think that maturity would eliminate vulgar language. I’ve noticed the rude and somewhat offensive language of guys, especially freshman, is definitely not what I’m used to. Their language is usually related to the way they dress and carry themselves as well.
What does discourse have to do with writing?
I would say that discourse plays a significant role in writing. The author typically writes to a certain audience and has certain purposes for their writing. A doctor’s discourse, meaning their language, value, dress, thinking, interacting, etc., is much different compared to an elementary school teacher’s discourse. This doesn’t necessarily mean that one or the other is wrong, it just proves that our discourses, primary and secondary, determine how we write, what we write, why we write, and who we are writing to. A school teacher that teaches first graders is going to use grammar quite different compared to a doctor. Even though she speaks differently on a regular basis, it doesn’t affect her knowledge or ability in comparison to the doctor.
What is “good” writing? How do you know what it looks like when you see it? What is “bad” writing?
I believe that “good” writing is when a person can take a thought, idea, story, etc. and elaborate on it in an intellectual way and then have an insightful conclusion at the end. I love to read an article, story, or even a textbook that can communicate with me in a clear, concise way. I also think it is essential that the author concludes their writing so the reader can understand what they are trying to say in a quick summary. When I think of good writing, I think of a writer who can keep the reader actively engaged and manage to incorporate all of their thoughts and ideas in a way that is not extremely difficult to understand. I always get discouraged when I am trying to stay engaged with someone’s writing and I just can follow along with it. I would say that “bad” writing is when the writer has no organization in their work and their thoughts are scattered everywhere among the page. I know that there isn’t a distinct way to categorize “good” and “bad” writing, but when the writer is completely disorganized and cannot spell, their writing ability is often misleading.
Free Write 2: My Home Language
As a child, the words that your parents use on a daily basis become part of your own language and tend to have a lasting impact. My mom is from Orange County, Virginia and the way she pronounces certain words are quite normal to me because I’ve grown up hearing them. However, when I have friends come over and my mom says, “Savannah, you need to warsh (wash) a load of clothes,” I usually get a funny look from them. I say warsh most of the time as well, just because I am used to hearing it. It never even fazed me that most people don’t say wash with an r in it, but it is a word that I have heard throughout my entire life. Another unique word we use around my house is “phaser.” When we refer to the “phaser,” we mean the TV remote. I don’t think I discovered that most people don’t call the remote control a “phaser” until I was about twelve years old. I was over at friend’s house and when I asked her if I could change the channel with the “phaser”, she looked at me like I was crazy and started laughing uncontrollably. As she told me that she has never heard of that word in her life, I realized that the word we used everyday around our house was completely bizarre to somebody else. I’m pretty sure the word “phaser” came from a Star Trek movie, so my parents thought it would be funny to call the remote that and it just stuck!
One thing that drives me nuts when I am having a conversation with someone is when they use the words “like” or “um” repeatedly. I understand using it occasionally but if it is said over and over, I eventually lose focus of what the person is even saying. There have been instances where I began to count how many times they used the words in a sentence! Normally, a person will use these words to fill an empty gap in the conversation which generally occurs when they are gathering their thoughts. I admit that I do use “like” and “um” on occasion, however, to use them continuously in a conversation can cause a huge distraction.