Tag Archives: constructing identity

“Boundary Work”: Building Bridges, Not Trapdoors

This week’s readings forced us to confront this question from Doreen Starke-Meyerring (2005):  What does it mean to be literate in a globalizing world?  Surely, this is a significant question, and one that requires our attention.  Starke-Meyerring (2005, p.493-494) proposes the following three strategies to engage with the literacy demands of global communication:

  • investing in curricula rooted in a global worldview
  • engaging in “boundary work” that encourages inquiry, reflection, analysis, and negotiation
  • developing more diverse and open learning environments

These present huge, complicated expectations for us in our work as teachers of writing.  For some, the response to these demands is clear.  For others, the answer continues to be shaped gradually.

Continue reading “Boundary Work”: Building Bridges, Not Trapdoors


Membership Required

The term “community” indicates a similarity, a likeness, and a sense of being one.  When a group is identified as having common ways of thinking, behaving, and communicating, it can be considered a discourse community.  More specifically, James Porter defines it as “individuals bound by a common interest who communicate through approved channels and whose discourse is regulated”.  By defining a discourse community in this way, he incorporates the elements of regulation and approval into the notion of unity and likeness.  Being part of a discourse community means that there are certain approved ways of doing things and of sharing ideas.  To be part of this community means understanding what these ways are, and for the most part, abiding by them in order to gain membership. Continue reading Membership Required