Two Worlds Apart

Blog ยป Two Worlds Apart

Posted on 13 Mar 2013 02:12

Two Worlds Apart:

The authors I chose for this blog post wrote about discourse communities that are normally considered to be from different worlds: Nerds and Football Coaches. These two authors both chose to write about communities not necessarily thought of as discourse comunnities, and both do an admirable job trying to explain why the communites are discourse communities. Both "nerd girls" and "football coaches" are not of in terms of "complex literacy practices", as Sean Branick puts it.

Conversational Research:

These two authors used a standard model of research where they went out and recorded conversations between members of the discourse community, and then drew their findings from that. The value of live conversations between members of the community help to understand the dynamics of individuals behind the group framework, while also providing insights into the community itself. Becase the target of this 'genre' is another person on the same community, it allows the researcher to more fully understand the group.
In addition, Branick used interviews to try and "take a look at the thought process behind [the coaches' methods]". I think interviews are a great medium for understanding the literacy practices of a group, because it forces the 'insider' of the community to create a 'genre' on the fly that targets an 'outsider' of the discourse community. In addition, posing as a 'mushfake' insider may help to draw insights from the 'insider', as now the conversation is between two 'insiders' rather than and 'insider' and an 'outsider'. The obvious benefits will be that the interviewee will be much more comfortable discussing their community with another insider of that community.

Their Conclusions:

Both of the authors concluded that these two communities have much more depth to them as discourse communities than previously thought. However their purposes differed slightly, and this affects the overall conclusion that they made. Sean Branick was exploring the literary practices of football coaches, and so he concludes with a wish that he has informed others about the discourse of football coaches. On the other hand, Mary Bucholtz was exploring the communities of identity and practice, using the example of nerd girls. Therefore, she concludes by generalizing the advantages of using a community of practice to describe groups rather than speech communities.

My Conclusions:

For my work, I wish to write on the discourse community of blog writers (specfically semi-professional blogs, such as those written by many CS professionals). I can draw from these writers' research practices, as I definitely will be analyzing specific examples to futher my ideas. I particularly enjoy the idea of using Branick's techniques of using interviews, and I will most likely utilize the connectedness of the Internet, and try to reach out to some of these blog writers to try and understand their thoughts. I don't know where I will end up in terms of my research, but at the least I hope to be able to conclude as Branick did, hoping that I have informed others on my chosen discourse community.

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