Intertextuality's Effect On A Discourse Community

analytical Essay
1426 words
1426 words

You belong to a discourse community! Whether you know it or not almost everyone belongs to some type of discourse community, but how does it affect you as an individual? From the studies of multiple authors, it has been established what defines a discourse community, what effects intertextuality have on a discourse community and even the overall dynamics, but even with all this research there is still something missing. Elizabeth Wardle, John Swales, and James Porter all make very good discussion points and arguments in their research, but none of these writers stop to examine the effects that these communities could possibly have on the individuals that make the community what it is. Just as it’s the simple stone block that when combined become …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes the effects of a discourse community on an individual. they will examine the writings of elizabeth wardle, john swales, and james porter.
  • Analyzes the effects of power and authority in a discourse community.
  • Opines that when members have someone in authority who they can look up to, it can be a catalyst for growth within the community.
  • Explains that the idea of intertextuality can be a controversial issue due to the implications made by porter.
  • Analyzes how the overall definition of a discourse community affects individuals who don't realize they are part of the community.
  • Analyzes the effects of a community on an individual, and explains how intertextuality, the dynamics of authority, or simply not understanding your community can affect one's individuality.

As a discourse community progresses there is always a dynamic of power in the community. The authority between the head of the community to everyone else or even just the difference between older more experienced members and the new members. As Swales states “Discourse communities have changing memberships…. Survival of the community depends on a reasonable ratio between novices and experts (Swales 222).” Understanding the changing memberships allow one to see that for every newcomer that is introduced into a community and for every experienced member who leaves there is a shift of power or authority. “While newcomers to a community experience a “grace period” for adopting community practices, it does not last forever and soon they must express their authority in the new community (Wardle 290).” Once these members have to start demonstrating their authority it might take some authority from someone else in the community or even clash with someone else’s authority. When this happens it is easy to cause an effect on a person. When faced with opposition some people might fold to the pressure essentially giving up their authority. Others might fight the opposition, which with any discord, can cause a virus like effect through the community. To understand the effects this kind of discord can have I believe Porter said it best, “The expectations, conventions, and attitudes of a discourse community will influence and shape not only how they write but also their character within that discourse community (Porter 401).” Effectively the attitude that can arise from a shift of power can cause an effect to the community as a whole but also the individual within the community. This does not necessarily mean in only a bad way though. When members have someone in authority whom they tend to get along with and can look up to it can be a catalyst for growth within the community.

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