The Discourse Community In 'What Is Literacy' By James Paul Gee

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The reading “What is Literacy” by James Paul Gee is about the concept of the discourse community. According to Gee, discourse means that there is not just one form of literacy, and how people can use it. Discourse could be used to identify oneself as a member of a social network because as Gee says, discourse comes complete with instructions on communicating and acting when taking on a specific role in each situation. The discourse community has an “ideological” meaning which is about following, understanding, and speaking on a certain set of values and viewpoints, because discourse communities are inherently ideological, they are resistant to internal criticism and opposing viewpoints, and Swales identify the ways as an “identity kit”. In “What is Literacy”, learning involves conscious knowledge gained through teaching, while …show more content…

According to “The Concept of Discourse Community”, there are six defining characteristics of a discourse community, Having common goals, Participatory mechanism, Information exchange, Community specific genres, Highly specialized terminology, and a High level of experience in all. The discourse community has a broadly agreed set of common public goals and there are many ways to participate but it varies based on the community like meetings, telecommunications correspondence, newsletters, and conversations. It also uses participatory mechanisms to provide information and feedback, and specific genres are unique communication forms used by a discourse community to share specialized knowledge and discuss topics relevant to their interests. In conclusion, Swales' reading defines discourse communities as cohesive groups that share a common enthusiasm and use distinct communication practices to achieve their

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