Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ch. 5 of Prof. Pennycook's CALx

Chapter 5 The Politics of Pedagogy

Mapping micro and macro relations --> Understanding how power circulates at multiple levels.


Auerbach (1995, p. 12)
The politics of the ESL classroom: Issues of power in pedagogical choices. In J. Tollefson (Ed.), Power and inequality in language education (pp. 9-33). Cambridge University Press.

We are forced to ask questions about the most natural-seeming practices: Where is the class located? Where does the teacher stand or sit? Who asks questions? What kinds of questions are asked? Who chooses the learning materials? How is progress evaluated? Who evaluates it?

Canagarajah, A. S. (1993), Critical ethnography of a Sri Lankan classroom: Ambiguities in student opposition to reproduction through ESOL. TESOL Quarterly, 27 601-626.

-->Relative autonomy of classrooms

Cf Luhmann's systems theory

A system is defined by a boundary between itself and its environment, dividing it from an infinitely complex, or (colloquially) chaotic, exterior. The interior of the system is thus a zone of reduced complexity: Communication within a system operates by selecting only a limited amount of all information available outside. This process is also called "reduction of complexity." The criterion according to which information is selected and processed is meaning (in German, Sinn). Both social systems and psychical or personal systems (see below for an explanation of this distinction) operate by processing meaning.

Furthermore, each system has a distinctive identity that is constantly reproduced in its communication and depends on what is considered meaningful and what is not. If a system fails to maintain that identity, it ceases to exist as a system and dissolves back into the environment it emerged from. Luhmann called this process of reproduction from elements previously filtered from an over-complex environment autopoiesis (pronounced "auto-poy-E-sis"; literally: self-creation), using a term coined in cognitive biology by Chilean thinkers Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela. Social systems are autopoietically closed in that they use and rely on resources from their environment; yet those resources do not become part of the systems' operation. Both thought and digestion are important preconditions for communication, but neither appears in communication as such.


Canagarajah (ibid): not to be overdeterministic or overvolitionist; seeing "learner-centerd" pedagogy as a very particular cultural and historical development.

See a rather critical description of learner autonomy in Wikipedia.

Learner Autonomy has been a buzz word in foreign language education in the past decades, especially in relation to life-long learning skills. It has transformed old practices in the language classroom and has given origin to self access language learning centers around the world such as the SALC at Kanda University of International Studies in Japan SALC, the SAC at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and ELSAC at the University of Auckland. As the result of such practices, language teaching is now seen as language learning and it has placed the learner as the centre of our attention in language learning education.

Read my short English essay "Commodifying ELT"

Gidden's notion of structuration --> mutual interdependence of structure and agency.

The theory of structuration, proposed by Anthony Giddens (1984) in The Constitution of Society (mentioned also in Central Problems of Social Theory, 1979), is an attempt to reconcile theoretical dichotomies of social systems such as agency/structure, subjective/objective, and micro/macro perspectives. The approach does not focus on the individual actor or societal totality "but social practices ordered across space and time" (p. 2). Its proponents adopt this balanced position, attempting to treat influences of structure (which inherently includes culture) and agency equally. See structure and agency.
Simply put, the theory of structuration holds that all human action is performed within the context of a pre-existing social structure which is governed by a set of norms and/or laws which are distinct from those of other social structures. Therefore, all human action is at least partly predetermined based on the varying contextual rules under which it occurs.

Structuration theory aims to avoid extremes of structural or agent determinism. The balancing of agency and structure is referred to as the duality of structure: social structures make social action possible, and at the same time that social action creates those very structures.
For Giddens, structures are rules and resources (sets of transformation relations) organized as properties of social systems. Rules are patterns people may follow in social life. Resources relate to what is created by human action; they are not given by nature (explained further below). The theory employs a recursive notion of actions constrained and enabled by structures which are produced and reproduced by those actions. Consequently, this theory has been adopted by those with structuralist inclinations, but who wish to situate such structures in human practice rather than reify them as an ideal type or material property. (This is different, for example, from actor-network theory which grants a certain autonomy to technical artifacts.) Additionally, the theory of structuration distinguishes between discursive and practical knowledge, recognizes actors as having knowledge is reflexive and situated, and that habitual use becomes institutionalized.

==>Poststructuration <--Discourse and subjectivity reciprocally reproduce and change each other. "The issue is not merely one of a dialectical relation between macro structure and micro agency but rather a poststructuration of constant recycling of different forms of power through our everyday words and actions. (Pennycook, 2001, p. 120)" 


School as one of the Ideological State Apparatuses

Althusser, L. (1971). Lenin and philosophy and other essays New Left Books.

 Althusser argues our self-consciousness is acquired within the social practices of the capitalistic world. School is one of the Ideological State Apparatuses that inculcate the mindset in us.

Here is Wikipedia's explanation.

Because Althusser held that our desires, choices, intentions, preferences, judgements and so forth are the consequences of social practices, he believed it necessary to conceive of how society makes the individual in its own image. Within capitalist societies, the human individual is generally regarded as a subject endowed with the property of being a self-conscious 'responsible' agent. For Althusser, however, a person’s capacity for perceiving himself in this way is not innately given. Rather, it is acquired within the structure of established social practices, which impose on individuals the role (forme) of a subject. Social practices both determine the characteristics of the individual and give him an idea of the range of properties he can have, and of the limits of each individual. Althusser argues that many of our roles and activities are given to us by social practice: for example, the production of steelworkers is a part of economic practice, while the production of lawyers is part of politico-legal practice. However, other characteristics of individuals, such as their beliefs about the good life or their metaphysical reflections on the nature of the self, do not easily fit into these categories. In Althusser’s view, our values, desires and preferences are inculcated in us by ideological practice, the sphere which has the defining property of constituting individuals as subjects.  Ideological practice consists of an assortment of institutions called Ideological State Apparatuses (ISAs), which include the family, the media, religious organisations and, most importantly, the education system, as well as the received ideas they propagate. There is, however, no single ISA that produces in us the belief that we are self-conscious agents. Instead, we derive this belief in the course of learning what it is to be a daughter, a schoolchild, black, a steelworker, a councillor, and so forth.

In "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses," Althusser says about the reproduction of labor power as follows:

How is this reproduction of the (diversified) skills of labour power provided for in a capitalist regime? Here, unlike social formations characterized by slavery or serfdom this reproduction of the skills of labour power tends (this is a tendential law) decreasingly to be provided for ‘on the spot’ (apprenticeship within production itself), but is achieved more and more outside production: by the capitalist education system, and by other instances and institutions.

Schools teach children not only the basic academic knowledge and skills but also the rules of good behaviours. School, Althusser argues, is a device of reproduction of human beings in this society.

What do children learn at school? They go varying distances in their studies, but at any rate they learn to read, to write and to add -- i.e. a number of techniques, and a number of other things as well, including elements (which may be rudimentary or on the contrary thoroughgoing) of ‘scientific’ or ‘literary culture’, which are directly useful in the different jobs in production (one instruction for manual workers, another for technicians, a third for engineers, a final one for higher management, etc.). Thus they learn know-how.

But besides these techniques and knowledges, and in learning them, children at school also learn the ‘rules’ of good behaviour, i.e. the attitude that should be observed by every agent in the division of labour, according to the job he is ‘destined’ for: rules of morality, civic and professional conscience, which actually means rules of respect for the socio-technical division of labour and ultimately the rules of the order established by class domination. They also learn to ‘speak proper French’, to ‘handle’ the workers correctly, i.e. actually (for the future capitalists and their servants) to ‘order them about’ properly, i.e. (ideally) to ‘speak to them’ in the right way, etc.

To put this more scientifically, I shall say that the reproduction of labour power requires not only a reproduction of its skills, but also, at the same time, a reproduction of its submission to the rules of the established order, i.e. a reproduction of submission to the ruling ideology for the workers, and a reproduction of the ability to manipulate the ruling ideology correctly for the agents of exploitation and repression, so that they, too, will provide for the domination of the ruling class ‘in words’.

In other words, the school (but also other State institutions like the Church, or other apparatuses like the Army) teaches ‘know-how’, but in forms which ensure subjection to the ruling ideology or the mastery of its ‘practice’. All the agents of production, exploitation and repression, not to speak of the ‘professionals of ideology’ (Marx), must in one way or another be ‘steeped’ in this ideology in order to perform their tasks ‘conscientiously’ -- the tasks of the exploited (the proletarians), of the exploiters (the capitalists), of the exploiters’ auxiliaries (the managers), or of the high priests of the ruling ideology (its ‘functionaries’), etc.

The reproduction of labour power thus reveals as its sine qua non not only the reproduction of its ‘skills’ but also the reproduction of its subjection to the ruling ideology or of the ‘practice’ of that ideology, with the proviso that it is not enough to say ‘not only but also’, for it is clear that it is in the forms and under the forms of ideological subjection that provision is made for the reproduction of the skills of labour power.

Is Bernstein too deterministic when he makes a distinction between the restricted code and the elaborated code?

The entry of Basil Bernstein in Wikipedia says:

Basil Bernstein made a significant contribution to the study of communication with his sociolinguistic theory of language codes. Within the broader category of language codes are elaborated and restricted codes. The term code, as defined by Stephen Littlejohn in Theories of Human Communication (2002), “refers to a set of organizing principles behind the language employed by members of a social group” (p.278). Littlejohn (2002) suggests that Bernstein’s theory shows how the language people use in everyday conversation both reflects and shapes the assumptions of a certain social group. Furthermore, relationships established within the social group affect the way that group uses language, and the type of speech that is used.

According to James Atherton of the Doceo Teaching and Learning Website, the construct of restricted and elaborated language codes was introduced by Basil Bernstein in 1971. As an educator, he was interested in accounting for the relatively poor performance of working-class students in language-based subjects, when they were achieving scores as high as their middle-class counterparts on mathematical topics. In his theory, Bernstein makes a direct correlation between societal class and language.

According to Bernstein in Class, Codes and Control (1971),
“Forms of spoken language in the process of their learning initiate, generalize and reinforce special types of relationship with the environment and thus create for the individual particular forms of significance” (p.76). That is to say that the way language is used within a particular societal class affects the way people assign significance and meaning to the things about which they are speaking. Littlejohn (2002) agrees and states, “people learn their place in the world by virtue of the language codes they employ” (p.178). The code that a person uses indeed symbolizes their social identity (Bernstein, 1971).
The two types of language codes are the elaborated code and the restricted code. The restricted code does not refer to restricted vocabulary just as elaborated code does not refer to better, more eloquent language. According to Atherton (2002),

the essence of the distinction is in what the language is suited for. The restricted code works better than the elaborated code for situations in which there is a great deal of shared and taken-for-granted knowledge in the group of speakers. It is economical and rich, conveying a vast amount of meaning with a few words, each of which has a complex set of connotations and acts like an index, pointing the hearer to a lot more information which remains unsaid.

Within the restricted code, speakers draw on background knowledge and shared understanding. This type of code creates a sense of includedness, a feeling of belonging to a certain group. Restricted codes can be found among friends and families and other intimately knit groups.


Bernstein makes a correlation between social class and the use of either elaborated or restricted code. He reports that in the working class you are likely to find the use of the restricted code, whereas in the middle class you find the use of both the restricted and elaborated codes. His research argues that the working class have access only to restricted codes, the ones they learned in the socialization process, where “both the values and role systems reinforce restricted codes” (Littlejohn, 2002 p.179). However, the middle class, being more geographically, socially and culturally mobile has access to both the restricted codes and elaborate codes. (Atherton, 2002). The restricted code is less formal with shorter phrases interjected into the middle or end of a thought to confirm understanding. For example, “you know" ,” “you know what I mean,“ “right?” and “don’t you think?” Elaborated codes have a longer, more complicated sentence structure that utilizes uncommon words and thoughts. In the elaborate code there is no padding or filler, only complete, well laid out thoughts that require no previous knowledge on the part of the listener, i.e., necessary details will be provided. According to Bernstein (1971), a working class person communicates in restricted code as a result of the conditions in which they were raised and the socialization process. The same is true for the middle class person with the exception that they were exposed to the elaborate code as well. Both groups use restricted code at some point, for as Atherton (2002) points out, “Everyone uses restricted code communication some of the time. It would be a very peculiar and cold family which did not have its own language.”

5. 3. 1 Bourdieu and Forms of Capital

Wikipedia provides a good introduction to Bourdieu's works.  Bourdieu argues that how a person distinguishes herself depends upon her "cultural capital".

Bourdieu's theory of class distinction

Pierre Bourdieu developed theories of social stratification based on aesthetic taste in his 1984 work Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (in French, La Distinction) published by Harvard University Press. Bourdieu claims that how one chooses to present one’s social space to the world -- one’s aesthetic dispositions -- depicts one’s status and distances oneself from lower groups. Specifically, Bourdieu hypothesizes that these dispositions are internalized at an early age and guide the young towards their appropriate social positions, towards the behaviors that are suitable for them, and an aversion towards other lifestyles.

Pierre Bourdieu theorizes that class fractions teach aesthetic preferences to their young. Class fractions are determined by a combination of the varying degrees of social, economic, and cultural capital. Society incorporates “symbolic goods, especially those regarded as the attributes of excellence, […as] the ideal weapon in strategies of distinction” Those attributes deemed excellent are shaped by the interests of the dominating class. He emphasizes the dominance of cultural capital early on by stating that “differences in cultural capital mark the differences between the classes”

Class distinction often appears in "Habitus." The concept is defined in Wikipedia as follows:

Habitus can be defined as a system of dispositions (lasting, acquired schemes of perception, thought and action). The individual agent develops these dispositions in response to the objective conditions it encounters.

"Cultural capial" is related to "economic capital", "social capital," and "symbolic capital."

In 'The Forms of Capital' (1986), Bourdieu distinguishes between three types of capital:
Economic capital: command over economic resources (cash, assets).
Social capital: resources based on group membership, relationships, networks of influence and support. Bourdieu defines social capital as "the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition."
Cultural capital: forms of knowledge, skills, education,and advantages that a person has, which give them a higher status in society. Parents provide their children with cultural capital by transmitting the attitudes and knowledge needed to succeed in the current educational system.
Later he adds symbolic capital (resources available to an individual on the basis of honor, prestige or recognition) to this list.

Symbolic capital is regarded as a source of power.

Bourdieu sees symbolic capital (e.g. prestige, honour, the right to be listened to) as a crucial source of power. Symbolic capital is any species of capital that is perceived through socially inculcated classificatory schemes. When a holder of symbolic capital uses the power this confers against an agent who holds less, and seeks thereby to alter their actions, they exercise symbolic violence.


"Native speakers of English have linguistic capital that can be turned into economic capital (access to jobs), and because of the symbolic capital accorded to this linguistic capital, native speakers often claim social and cultural capital of other sorts." (Brutt-Griffler & Samimy 1999)

Revisiting the Colonial in the Postcolonial: Critical Praxis for Nonnative-English-Speaking Teachers in a TESOL Program
Authors: Brutt-Griffler, Janina; Samimy, Keiko K.
Source: TESOL Quarterly, Volume 33, Number 3, Autumn 1999 , pp. 413-431(19)

Here is the conclusion of their study, which is perhaps more subtle than the above summary suggests:

Drawing on Pennycook’s (1998) analysis of English and the discourses of colonialism as well as on the data in the present study, we find that the construct of nativeness in ELT has a lived reality in postcolonialism. As we have shown, it is a site of struggle for many nonnative-English-speaking professionals. It indeed might be a product of a colonial European culture that still resonates in the practice and theory of ELT. Although
many prominent scholars have pointed out its problematic nature, the construct of nativeness has remained at the center of much recent analysis.

The present study aimed at a reexamination of the question of NNESTs at the theoretical level and provided a practical approach to the empowerment of the NNEST. Toward this end, we drew on the principles of Freire’s (1993) critical pedagogy and Weedon’s (1997) theory of subjectivity. The underlying argument of our critical praxis was that if critical pedagogy is to lead to change and empowerment, we can no longer promote only the existing approaches to the study of the question. In particular, we argue that it is critical to address this side of ELT education within an ESOL teacher preparation program and develop new conceptual tools. As such, the issues involved in nativeness must first be articulated through the experiences and self-representation of both NNESTs and native-English-speaking teachers to challenge the professional boundaries and their ideological basis. As the present study has shown, it is critical to raise consciousness about the role of international teachers of English in the field and validate the tools for their empowerment. Empowerment, as Lather (1991) argues, constitutes “people coming into a sense of their own power, a new relationship with their own contexts” (p. 2). Although achieving such empowerment remains complex, this study demonstrated that many of the students found a new relationship with their contexts, analyzed the causes of their powerlessness, and generated a new sense of agency. We conclude that new critical approaches that reexamine such basic constructs need to become part of ESOL teacher education and research within a TESOL curriculum. (p. 429)

Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.
Lather, P. (1991). Getting smart: Feminist research and pedagogy with/in the postmodern. London: Routledge.
Pennycook, A. (1998). English and the discourses of colonialism. London: Routledge.
Weedon, C. (1997). Feminist practice and poststructuralist theory. Oxford: Blackwell.

"Bourdieu inadvertently forecloses the possibility of an agency that emerges from the margins of power." (p. 156)

Judith Butler (1997) Excitable speech: A politics of the performative. New York: Routledge.

5.3.2 Resistance and Change

The notion of cultural politics by Jordan & Weedon (1995) Cultural Politics: Class, Gender, Race And The Postmodern World

* Whose culture shall be the official one and whose shall be subordinated?

* What cultures shall be regarded as worthy of display and which shall be hidden?

* Whose history shall be remembered and whose forgotten?

* What images of social life shall be projected and which shall be marginalized?

* What voices shall be heard and which shall be silenced?

* Who is representing whom and on what basis?

* How can marginalized and oppressed people be empowered to change their social position?

* What is cultural democracy and how can it be achieved?

"Classrooms, from this perspective, are also sites where identities are produced and changed." (Pennycook, 2001, p. 129)

Critical Classroom Discourse Analysis
Author: Kumaravadivelu, B.
Source: TESOL Quarterly, Volume 33, Number 3, Autumn 1999 , pp. 453-484(32)

My primary purpose in this article is to conceptualize a framework for conducting critical classroom discourse analysis (CCDA). I begin with a critique of the scope and method of current models of classroom interaction analysis and classroom discourse analysis, arguing that they offer only a limited and limiting perspective on classroom discourse. I then contend that the concepts of discourse enunciated in Foucauldian poststructuralism and Saidian postcolonialism can be employed to develop a critical framework for understanding what actually transpires in the L2 classroom. Drawing insights from these two discourse traditions, I attempt to construct a conceptual framework for CCDA and present basic principles and procedures that might make CCDA possible. I conclude the article with suggestions for further exploration that CCDA might open up.

Here are excerpts from what Kumaravadivelu regards as the fundamental characteristics of Critical Classroom Discourse Analysis.

*Classroom discourse, like all other discourses, is socially constructed, politically motivated, and historically determined. ...

*The racialized, stratified, and gendered experiences that discourse participants bring to the classroom setting are motivated and molded not just by the learning and teaching episodes they encounter in the classroom but also by the broader linguistic, social, economic, political, and historical milieu in which they all grow up.

*The L2 classroom is not a secluded, self-contained minisociety. ...

*The L2 classroom also manifests, at surface and deep levels, many forms of resistance, articulated or unarticulated. ...

*Language teachers can ill afford to ignore the sociocultural reality that influences identity formation in and outside the classroom, nor can they afford to separate learners’ linguistic needs and wants from their sociocultural needs and wants.

*The negotiation of discourse’s meaning and its analysis should not be confined to the acquisitional aspects of input and interaction, to the instructional imperatives of form- and function-focused language learning activities, or to the conversational routines of turn-taking and turn-giving sequences. ...

*Classroom discourse lends itself to multiple perspectives depending on the discourse participants’ preconceived notions of what constitutes learning, teaching, and learning outcomes; therefore, any CCDA needs to identify and understand possible mismatches between intentions and interpretations of classroom aims and events.

*The objective of language education should be not merely to facilitate effective language use on the part of language learners but also to promote critical engagement among discourse participants. ...

*Teachers need to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to observe, analyze, and evaluate their own classroom discourse so that they can, without depending too much upon external agencies, theorize what they practice and practice what they theorize, thus contributing to the dismantling of the debilitating dichotomy between theorists and teachers, between producers and consumers of pedagogic knowledge.

Kumaravadivelu (1999, pp. 472-473)


Failing to problematizing its own status as a regime of truth (Foucault's term) (Pennycook, 2001, p. 132)?


One of the concerns Johnson has about critical pedagogy is that its exclusive focus on politics and its failure to capture the moral aspect of teaching.

Putting Critical Pedagogy in Its Place: A Personal Account
Author: Johnston, Bill
Source: TESOL Quarterly, Volume 33, Number 3, Autumn 1999 , pp. 557-565(9)

As I made clear above, I agree wholeheartedly with the claim that schooling is political in nature, and I believe that it is crucial to understand the workings of power in educational systems and contexts. However, I also believe very firmly that in essence teaching is not primarily about power or politics. My own view is that fundamentally teaching is about the moral relation between teacher and students; that is, the essence of teaching is moral, not political, in nature ( Jackson, Boostrom, & Hansen, 1993; Johnston, Juhasz, Marken, & Ruiz, 1998; Noblit & Dempsey, 1993; Noddings, 1984). I believe that although questions of power and culture and their attendant classifications (gender, race, sexual orientation) are of vital importance in understanding the processes of education, these can only be properly understood through the lens of moral interaction.that is, of the juxtaposition of values.
Johnson (1999, pp. 560-561)

5.5.1 Postmodernism and Ethics

Corson (1997) argues that without opening its epistemology applied linguistics may fail to contribute to improve the human condition.

Applied Linguistics 1997 18(2):166-188
Critical Realism: An Emancipatory Philosophy for Applied Linguistics?
David Corson

I would argue that only an inclusive epistemology is ethically acceptable once we have decided that the reasons and the accounts of stakeholders are ontologically basic to our actions as researchers and practitioners in applied linguistics. This is because only an inclusive epistemology is consistent with all three ethical principles [=the principle of equal treatment, the principle of respect for persons, and the principle of benefit maximization] at the same time. In other words, applied linguistics needs to open its windows to other disciplines and to other points of view, especially to the points of view of its informants, clientele, and potential victims. If it does not do so, applied linguistics will fail to show respect for persons as autonomous moral agents who deserve equal treatment similar to the treatment applied linguists themselves would expect as people, and in not meeting the third principle, it will also fail to maximize the welfare of humanity in general.
Corson (1997, p. 183)

Ethics "not as part of a fixed moral code that guides the behavior of the individual but rather as part of a contingent way of thinking and acting that is always in relation to social, cultural, and political relations." (Pennycook, 2001, p. 137)


"Doing critical work is dangerous work." (Pennycook, 2001, p. 138)


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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Violence of "Mahatma" Gandhi

"Mahatma" Gandhi is my hero. When I saw Richard Attenborough's film in 1982 in a movie theater, it was more than inspirational. I have a picture of Gandhi in my office. I keep seeing it every day for many years.

Gandhi can arguably be deemed to one of the pioneers of postcolonialism. He at least started a counter movement to Westernization in industrial, cultural and spiritual terms. He succeeded in it in a very non-modern way of non-violence. Or he may just be an anticolonialist. But it doesn't really matter here. He's my hero in either way.

So imagine my surprise when I learned about Gandhi's tragic episode with his son, Harilal. The movie "Gandhi, My Father" in 2007 depicts, I would say, "psychological violence" of Gandhi to his own son. (I only saw a fragment of the movie in the Japanese National Television (NHK), though).

The Independent explains the episode briefly.

Certainly, in India at least, some details of the difficult relationship between Gandhi and the eldest of his four sons are already known. Born in 1888, Harilal was refused permission by Gandhi to study law as he himself had done. To the London-educated Gandhi, preventing his son from following in his academic footsteps was an act of honourable defiance against the Western education system he had come to reject and he did not believe his son required such preparation for a life he presumed would be devoted to the struggle for freedom.

Yet Harilal rebelled against his father's influence and, perhaps, his exaltation by others as a man who could do no wrong. Later he converted to Islam and took the name Abdullah Gandhi in a move that many have seen as an act of rebellion against his father rather than a genuine religious conversion. He also sought to remarry after his wife's death, something of which his father did not approve.

In one bitter letter to his father, Harilal wrote: "In your laboratory of experiments, unfortunately, I am the one truth that has gone wrong ... Yours Harilal." Elsewhere, he wrote of the man whom Indians knew as "Bapu" or father: "He is the greatest father you have... but he is the one father I wish I did not have."

Shocking as it was, the episode was somewhat strangely understandable to me. Perhaps I knew this kind of dark side is what it takes to be "Mahatma." 

Part of me was even glad to know this episode. It's not that I enjoy the perverted joy of depreciating what I once worshiped. Rather, I want to see him as a human. As somebody I love and loathe.

The movie is available in DVD.


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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ch. 4 of Prof. Pennycook's CALx

Chapter 4 The Politics of Text


4.1.1 Literacies as Social Practices

Is literacy "autonomous, asocial, and decontextualized cognitive processes"? (Pennycook 2001, p. 76)

"Literacy myth": literacy is in and of itself beneficial.

James Paul Gee (2007)
Social Linguistics and Literacies: Ideology in Discourses (3rd edition) (Taylor & Francis) seems a very important book in understanding sociocultural aspects of literacies.

Introduction Gee explains the three aims of the book:
The book seeks to accomplish three things: first, to give readers an overview of sociocultural approaches to language and literacy; second, to introduce readers to a particular style of analyzing language-in-use-in-society; and, third, to develop a specific theory of language and literacy centered around the notion of Discourses (with a capital D). Introduction vii

You can read some part of the book in
Google Book search.

An alternative view:
literacies as plural and complex practices as in literacy practices, social literacies, or multiliteracies

Prof. James Gee explains "the New Literacy Studies and the 'Social Turn'" as follows:

The New Literacy Studies (NLS) was one movement among many that took part in a larger "social turn" away from a focus on individuals and their "private" minds and towards interaction and social practice. The NLS (see Barton 1994; Gee 1996; and Street 1995 for programmatic statements; see Heath 1983 and Street 1984 for seminal "early" examples of the NLS) are based on the view that reading and writing only make sense when studied in the context of social and cultural (and we can add historical, political, and economic) practices of which they are but a part. The NLS arose along side a heady mix of other movements, some of which were incorporated into the NLS. These movements argued their own case for the importance of the "social", each with their own take on what "social" was to mean.

The movements that helped the New Literacy Studies take a "social turn", according to Gee, are 1. Ethnomethodology and conversational analysis; 2. The ethnography of speaking; 3. Sociohistorical psychology; 4. Situated cognition; 5. Cultural models theory; 6. Cognitive linguistics; 7. Science and technology studies; 8. Modern composition theory; 9. Connectionism; 10. Narrative studies; 11. Evolutionary approaches to mind and behavior; 12. Modern sociology; 13. "Post-structuralist" and "postmodernist" work.

Multiliteracies "creates a different kind of pedagogy: one in which language and other modes of meaning are dynamic representational resources, constantly being remade by their users as they work to achieve their various cultural purposes. (
Cope and Kalantzis 2000, p. 5)"

You can read a paper "Literacy Studies in Education: Disciplined Developments in a Post-Disciplinary Age" by Prof. Colin Lankshear on the web.

In the section of "Toward a sociocultural approach to literacy studies," his version of literacy studies is explained as follows:

Understanding literacy as sociocultural practice means that reading and writing can only be understood in the context of the social, cultural, political, economic, historical practices to which they are integral; of which they are a part. This view lies at the heart of what Gee (1996) calls the ‘new’ literacy studies, or socioliteracy studies -- which is what will count as literacy studies (proper) for the rest of this discussion (see also Barton 1994; Street 1984, 1993, 1995). The relationship between human practice and the production, distribution, exchange, refinement, contestation, etc., of meanings is a key idea here. Human practices are meaningful ways of doing things, or getting things done (Franklin 1990). There is no practice without meaning, just as there is no meaning outside of practice. Within contexts of human practice, language (words, literacy, texts) gives meaning to contexts and, dialectically, contexts give meaning to language. Hence, there is no reading or writing in any meaningful sense of the terms outside of social practices, or discourses.

Three grouds in support of a sociocultural perspective on literacy against the traditional view can be summarized as follows:

(1) We cannot make sense of our experience of literacy without reference to social practice: Different histories of ‘literate immersion’ yield different forms of reading and writing as practice.
(2) The sociocultural model has necessary theoretical scope and explanatory power: The sociocultural model provides a proven basis for framing, understanding, and addressing some of the most important literacy education issues we face: issues which cannot be framed effectively -- let alone addressed -- from the traditional perspective on account of its individualist, ‘inner’, or ‘abstracted skills and processes’ orientation.
(3) ‘Unwanted’ theoretical trappings and implications for social worlds: Current education reform proposals construct literacy as individualised, standardised, and commodified in the extreme. They constitute standard English literacy as the indisputable norm, advocate the ‘technologizing’ of literacy to unprecedented levels, and tie the significance and value of literacy in increasingly narrow and instrumental ways to economic viability and demands of citizenship (see Lankshear 1998 for detailed discussion).

A sociocultural definition of literacy is explained as follows::

Any acceptable and illuminating sociocultural definition of literacy has to make sense of reading, writing and meaning-making as integral elements of social practices. Such a definition is provided by Gee (1996), who defines literacy in relation to Discourses. Discourses are socially recognised ways of using language (reading, writing, speaking, listening), gestures and other semiotics (images, sounds, graphics, signs, codes), as well as ways of thinking, believing, feeling, valuing, acting/doing and interacting in relation to people and things, such that we can be identified and recognised as being a member of a socially meaningful group, or as playing a socially meaningful role (cf Gee 1991, 1996, 1998a). To be in, or part of, a Discourse means that others can recognise us as being a ‘this’ or a ‘that’ (a pupil, mother, priest, footballer, mechanic), or a particular ‘version’ of a this or that (a reluctant pupil, a doting mother, a radical priest, a ‘bush’ mechanic) by virtue of how we are using language, believing, feeling, acting, dressing, doing, and so on.

->Still failing to "offer a political critique of those contexts or an adequate vision of change. (Pennycook 2001, p. 78)"?


Fairclough and Wodak (1997: 271-80) summarize the main tenets of CDA as follows:

1. CDA addresses social problems
2. Power relations are discursive
3. Discourse constitutes society and culture
4. Discourse does ideological work
5. Discourse is historical
6. The link between text and society is mediated
7. Discourse analysis is interpretative and explanatory
8. Discourse is a form of social action.
Fairclough, N. L. and Wodak, R. (1997). Critical discourse analysis. In T. A. van Dijk (ed.), Discourse Studies. A Multidisciplinary Introduction, Vol. 2. Discourse as Social Interaction (pp. 258-84). London: Sage.
[Summarized by van Dijk on page 353 of "Critical Discourse Analysis" In D. Tannen, D. Schiffrin & H. Hamilton (Eds.), Handbook of Discourse Analysis. (pp. 352-371). Oxford: Blackwell.

Wodak, Fairclough and van Dijk are important figures in CDA.

Ruth Wodak

According to the description provided by Lancaster, her "main research agenda focus the development of theoretical approaches in discourse studies (combining ethnography, argumentation theory, rhetoric, and functional systemic linguistics); gender studies; language and/in politics; prejudice and discrimination."

Disorders of Discourse is one of her important works.

Prof. Wodak is a Wittgenstein Award Laureate 1996, too.

You can read an interview of Prof. Wodak on the web. Below are some highlights.

KENDALL: Why "critical" discourse analysis? What is the gain, and what is the risk, in the moment of being "critical"? What are the most important developments in CDA?

WODAK: "Critical" means not taking things for granted, opening up complexity, challenging reductionism, dogmatism and dichotomies, being self-reflective in my research, and through these processes, making opaque structures of power relations and ideologies manifest. "Critical", thus, does not imply the common sense meaning of "being negative".rather "skeptical". Proposing alternatives is also part of being "critical" (see REISIGL and WODAK's definition of "critical" in REISIGL & WODAK, 2001, Chapter 2).


KENDALL: One of the main theoretical and methodological problems in social discourse analysis is the tension between linguistics and sociology, their concepts and methods. Do you see the different paradigms as many discourse researchers do.or do you see problems of incommensurability?

WODAK: Very true.the gap between different epistemological positions and paradigms, between macro and micro can not be bridged in a one-to-one fashion. There will necessarily always be a tension. However, I strive for what I call "integrated interdisciplinarity": integrating approaches for an object under investigation in innovative ways. Of course, sometimes add-on interdisciplinarity occurs which can be very ad hoc and superficial; if various disciplinary perspectives are not discussed, and their epistemological framework not reflected before they are used or integrated, then interdisciplinarity does not make much sense. In WEISS and WODAK (2003) we define and spell out precise criteria for an interdisciplinary methodology and also discuss the limitations of interdisciplinary research.

Norman Fairclough

On the Lancaster University web site, Fairclough explains his research interests:

Since the early 1980s, my research has focused on critical discourse analysis - including the place of language in social relations of power and ideology, and how language figures in processes of social change. My main current interest is in language (discourse) as an element in contemporary social changes which are referred to as 'globalisation', 'neo-liberalism', 'new capitalism', the 'knowledge economy' and so forth. Over the past three years I have been working specifically on aspects of 'transition' in Central and Eastern Europe , especially Romania , from a discourse analytical perspective.

This research is based upon the theoretical claim that discourse is an element of social life which is dialectically interconnected with other elements, and may have constructive and transformative effects on other elements. It also makes the claim that discourse has in many ways become a more salient and potent element of social life in the contemporary world, and that more general processes of current social change often seem to be initiated and driven by changes in discourse. Discourse analysis, including linguistic analysis, therefore has a great deal more to contribute to social research than has generally been recognised, especially when integrated into interdisciplinary research projects.

Wikipedia describes "Fairclough's theories have been influenced by Mikhail Bakhtin and Michael Halliday on the linguistic field, and ideology theorists such as Antonio Gramsci, Louis Althusser, Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu on the sociological one."

His paper, Critical Discourse Analysis (Marges Linguistiques 9 2005 76-94, can be downloaded.

The following is some of the terms and concepts I found interesting.

Methodologically, this approach entails working in a 'transdisciplinary' way through dialogue with other disciplines and theories which are addressing contemporary processes of social change. 'Transdisciplinary' (as opposed to merely 'interdisciplinary', or indeed 'postdisciplinary', Sum & Jessop 2001) implies that the theoretical and methodological development (the latter including development of methods of analysis) of CDA and the disciplines/theories it is in dialogue with is informed through that dialogue, a matter of working with (though not at all simply appropriating) the 'logic' and categories of the other in developing one's own theory and methodology (Fairclough forthcoming a). The overriding objective is to give accounts - and more precise accounts than one tends to find in social research on change - of the ways in which and extent to which social changes are changes in discourse, and the relations between changes in discourse and changes in other, non-discoursal, elements or 'moments' of social life (including therefore the question of the senses and ways in which discourse '(re)constructs' social life in processes of social change). The aim is also to identify through analysis the particular linguistic, semiotic and 'interdiscursive' (see below) features of 'texts' (in a broad sense - see below) which are a part of processes of social change, but in ways which facilitate the productive integration of textual analysis into multi-disciplinary research on change. (p. 1)

Social practices
The realist social ontology adopted here treats social structures as well as social events as parts of social reality. Like a number social theorists, such as Bourdieu and Bhaskar (Bourdieu & Wacquant 1992, Bhaskar 1986), I assume that coherent accounts of the relationship between social structures and social events depend upon mediating categories, for which I shall use the term 'social practices', meaning more or less stable and durable forms of social activity, which are articulated together to constitute social fields, institutions, and organizations. (p. 2)

One might for instance see social practices as including the following elements (though there is clearly room for argument about what the elements are):
Social relations
Objects and instruments
Time and place
Social subjects, with beliefs, knowledge, values etc

These elements are dialectically related (Harvey 1996). That is to say, they are different elements, but not discrete, fully separate, elements. There is a sense in which each 'internalizes' the others without being reducible to them. (p. 3)

Semiosis as part of social activity constitutes 'genres'. Genres are diverse ways of (inter)acting in their specifically semiotic aspect. Examples are: meetings in various types of organisation, political and other forms of interview, news articles in the press, and book reviews. Semiosis in the representation and self-representation of social practices constitutes 'discourses'. Discourses are diverse representations of social life. (p. 4)

Teun A. van Dijk

Here is Wikipedia's description.

Teun Adrianus van Dijk (born May 7, 1943, Naaldwijk, the Netherlands), is a scholar in the fields of text linguistics, discourse analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA).
With Walter Kintsch he contributed to the development of the psychology of text processing. Since the 1980s his work in CDA focused especially on the study of the discursive reproduction of racism by what he calls the 'symbolic elites' (politicians, journalists, scholars, writers), the study of news in the press, and on the theories of ideology and context.

Prof. Teun A. van Dijk's homepage is extremely helpful for learning CDA or Critical Discouse Studies (CDS) as he prefers to call his approach.

There are many articles downloadable from the web site (
personal use only).

"Critical Discourse Analysis" In D. Tannen, D. Schiffrin & H. Hamilton (Eds.), Handbook of Discourse Analysis. (pp. 352-371). Oxford: Blackwell, 2001 (Longer version on homepage) is a great introduction to CDA.

Here are some excerpts.


Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is a type of discourse analytical research that primarily studies the way social power abuse, dominance, and inequality are enacted, reproduced, and resisted by text and talk in the social and political context. With such dissident research, critical discourse analysts take explicit position, and thus want to understand, expose, and ultimately resist social inequality. (p. 352)

On "value-free" science

Crucial for critical discourse analysts is the explicit awareness of their role in society. Continuing a tradition that rejects the possibility of a "value-free" science, they argue that science, and especially scholarly discourse, are inherently part of and influenced by social structure, and produced in social interaction. Instead of denying or ignoring such a relation between scholarship and society, they plead that such relations be studied and accounted for in their own right, and that scholarly practices be based on such insights. Theory formation, description, and explanation, also in discourse analysis, are sociopolitically "situated," whether we like it or not. Reflection on the role of scholars in society and the polity thus becomes an inherent part of the discourse analytical enterprise. This may mean, among other things, that discourse analysts conduct research in solidarity and cooperation with dominated groups. (pp. 352-353)

"Discourse, power and access" In Carmen Rosa Caldas-Coulthard and Malcolm Coulthard (Eds.), Texts and Practices. Readings in Critical Discourse Analysis . (pp. 84-104). London: Routledge, 1996 is also a very enlightening paper.


One major element in the discursive reproduction of power and dominance is the very access to discourse and communicative events. In this respect discourse is similar to other valued social resources that forra the basis of power and to which there is unequally distributed access. For instance, not everyone has equal access to the media or to medical, legal, political, bureaucratic or scholarly text and talk. That is, we need to explore the implications of the complex question
Who may speak or write to whom, about what, when, and in what context, or Who may participate in such communicative events in various recipient roles, for instance as addressees, audience, bystanders and overhearers. Access may even be analysed in terms of the topics or referents of discourse, that is, who is written or spoken about. We may assume, as for other social resources, that more access according to there several participant roles, corresponds with more social power. In other words, measures of discourse access may be rather faithful indicators of the power of social groups and their members.,%20power%20and%20access.pdf


Two positions: "discourse as manifestations of ideology" and "discoure
or ideology"

Alastair Pennycook (1994) Incommensurable Discourses?
Applied Linguistics 15 pp. 115-138 is a very informative paper.

This paper is an attempt to come to terms with different understandings of the term discourse. By comparing the common use of discourse analysis in applied linguistics with its use both in critical discourse analysis and in a Foucauldian use of the term, I try to show how these different approaches imply profoundly different understandings of the relationship between language, the individual, ideology, and society. Ultimately, I argue that there are limitations to both the common applied linguistic and the critical approaches, and that it would be useful to explore further the possibilities raised by a Foucauldian understanding of discourse analysis.

Pennycook (1994) contrasts different views of "discourse" in discourse analysis in applied linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis, and Foucault.

Discourse Analysis in Applied linguistics

Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics defines discourse as '1) a general term for examples of language use, i.e. language which has been produced as the result of an act of communication; 2 )in contrast to grammar, which deals with clauses, phrases, and referring to 'larger units of language such as paragraphs, conversations, and interviews' (Richards, Platt, and Weber 1985: 83).

Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics defines discourse analysis as 'the study of how sentences in spoken and written language form larger meaningful units such as paragraphs, conversations, interviews, etc' (Richards, Platt, and Weber 1985: 84).

Critical Discourse Analysis

Pennycook points out the similarities and differences between the notions of "discourse" between standard applied linguistics and CDA (Fairclough 1989) as follows:

Discourse, for Fairclough, is 'language as social practice' (1986, p. 17), a definition that has both similarities with and differences from the notion of discourse as language use discussed in the previous section [of standard applied linguistics]. It is similar in that discourse is also used to mean chunks of language as it is actually used. It differs, however, in at least two respects. First, language as social practice differs from language use to the extent that it relates language to other social practices, rather than leaving it in a separate domain. Second, such language practice is seen as socially determined.
Pennycook (1994, p. 121)

According to Fairclough (1989, p. 1) summarized by Pennycook (1994, p. 121), two principal goals of CDA are: first, helping to 'correct a widespread underestimation of the significance of language in the production, maintenance, and change of social relationships of power'; and, second, helping to 'increase consciousness of how language contributes to the domination of some people by others, because consciousness is the first step towards emancipation'.
Fairclough, N. 1989.
Language and Power. London: Longman.

Pennycook (1994, p. 126) takes a critical look at CDA.

I also feel that most of this critical discourse analysis tends to operate with a problematically static view of both language and society. What happens, by and large, is that texts (the micro level) are read in order to reveal the workings of social structures (the macro level).

Discourse as power/knowledge

"Foucault allows for critical analysis while avoiding the reductions and totalizations of more Marxist-based analysis." (Pennycook 1994, p. 126)

The differences between CDA theorists and Pennycook in understanding Foucault can be seen in the tendency of CDA theoriest:

These differences lie in the tendency, first, to see discourse still as a linguistic phenomenon, albeit socially embedded; second to separate discourse from ideology and suggest that the latter determines the former; third, to operate with a view of power only as something held by one group and not by others; and finally to view discourse as only concerned with the delimitation and regulation of what can be said, rather than also with the production of what can be said. (Pennycook 1994, p. 127)

Pennycook goes on to explain how Foucault turned down the notion of ideology in favour of discourse:

Foucault (1980a) explicitly rejects the notion of ideology, however, in favour of discourse, since ideology is predominantly used in contrast to something that is considered to be 'real' or 'the truth', and thus it is assumed that ideology necessarily obfuscates, hides the truth and leads to 'false consciousness' (see previous section). His interest, by contrast, is in the effects of claims to truth, in 'seeing historically how effects of truth are produced within discourses which in themselves are neither true nor false' (Foucault 1980a: 118).
(Pennycook 1994, pp.127-128)

Foucault refused the notion of the ultimate determinant.

Foucault's approach, by contrast, avoids an ontological or teleological search for an ultimate determinant such as class or relations of production and instead looks to a multiplicity of social, cultural, political, economic, technical, or theoretical conditions of possibility for the emergence of discourses. Thus, the constraints on human freedom of thought are no longer reducible to the nature of 'man', to the sexual drives of the subconscious, or to the relationship to the means of production, but rather are a product of a multiplicity of relationships.
(Pennycook 1994, p.128)

For Foucault, discourse is not a reflection of social reality; social realities are produced by discourses. Power operates in discourses in the form of discursive truth.

A Foucauldian analysis presents a different possibility. It is not concerned with how discourses (texts) reflect social reality, but how discourses produce social realities; it does not look for relationships between discourse and society/politics, but rather theorizes discourse as always/already political; it does not seek out an ultimate cause or basis for power and inequality, but rather focuses on the multiplicity of sites through which power operates; and it does not posit a reality outside discourse, but rather looks to the discursive production of truth.
(Pennycook 1994, p.131)

Foucault opposed the notion of ideology because it "always stands in virtual opposition to something else which is supposed to count as truth." (Foucault 1980, p. 118)

==> Deconstructing truth/ideology dichotomy?

Foucault, M. 1980.
Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977. (edited by C. Gordon). New York: Pantheon Books.

4.3.1 Knowledge Claims and Truth

The old Marxist dogma of true science versus false nonsicence.

Applied linguistics claiming itself to be scientific by removing itself from the political domain.

CDA claiming itself to be political
and scientific.

-->Failing to problematize the status of scientific knowledge? (Pennycook 2001, p. 85)

Pennycook explain's Foucauldian notion of the 'politics of knowledge' as follows:

Foucault was fundamentally interested not in truth, but in
truth claims, in the effect of making claims to knowledge. The important point, Foucault (1980) suggests, is not to try to construct a category of scientific knowledge that can then claim some monopoly on the the truth but rather to see "historically how effects of truth are produced within discourses which in themselves are neither true nor false" (p. 118). Furthermore, Foucault (1980) suggests, we need to ask: "What types of knowledge do you want to disqualify in the very instant of your demand; 'Is it a science'?" (p. 85)
Foucault, M. 1980.
Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977. (edited by C. Gordon). New York: Pantheon Books.

The above remark by Foucault is followed by the next remark:
Which speaking, discoursing subjects -- which subjects of experience and knowledge -- do you want to 'diminish' when you say: 'I who conduct this discourse am conducting a scientific discourse, and I am a scientist'?  (Foucault 1980, p. 85)

The above remark by Foucault, "What types of knowledge do you want to disqualify in the very instant of your demand; 'Is it a science'?  What types of knowledge do you want to disqualify in the very instant of your demand; 'Is it a science'?", is a conclusive question from his discussion of "subjugated knowledges."

By "subjugated knowledges," Foucault means two things.  One is "the historical contents that have been buried and disguised in a functionalist coherence or formal systemisation. (Foucault 1980, p. 81)"  The other is "a whole set of knowledges that have been disgualified as inadequate to their task or insufficiently elaborated: naive knowledges, located low down on the hierarchy, beneath the required level of cognition or scientificity.  (Foucault 1980, p. 82)"

The paper "Two Lectures" from which the above remark is taken is an important paper to understand Foucault's notion of power as well.  Foucault calls the traditional idea of power "an economism in the theory of power."
By than I mean that in the case of the classic, juridial theory, power is taken to be a right, which one is able to possess like a commodity, and which one can in consequence transfer or alienate, either wholly or partiall, through a legal act or through some act that establishes a right, such as takes place through cession or contract.  (Foucault 1980, p. 88)

To this notion, Foucault asks a number of questions.
[I]n the first place, is power always in a subordiate position relative to the economy?  Is it always in the service of, and ultimately answerable to, the economy?  Is its essential end and purpose to serve the economy?  Is it destined to realise, consolidate, maintain and reproduce the relations appropriate to the economy and essential to its functioning?  In the second place, is power modelled upon the commodity?  Is it something that one posesses, acquires, cedes through force or contract, that one alienates or recovers, that circulates, that voids this or that region?"  (Foucault 1980, p. 89)

Foucault then gives his idea of power, produced, accumulated, circulated and functioned by a discourse.
What I mean is this: in a society such as ours, but basically in any society, there are manifold relations of power which permeate, characterise and constitute the social body, and these relations of power cannot themselves be established, consolidated nor implemented without the production, accumulation, circulation and functioning of a discourse.  (Foucault 1980, p. 93)

In discourse, power and truth are entangled.
We are subjected to the production of truth through power and we cannot exercise power except through the production of truth.  This is the case for every society, but I believe that in ours the relationship between power, right and truth is organised in a highly specific fashion.  If I were to characterise, not its mechanism itself, but its intensity and constancy, I would say that we are forced to produce the truth of power that our society demands, of which it has need, in order to function: we must speak the truth; we are constrained or condemned to confess or to discover the truth.  (Foucault 1980, p. 93)

Foucault's notion of power is clarified in the following remarks.
Power must be analysed as something which circulates, or rather as something which only functions in the form of a chain.  It is never localised here or there, never in anybody's hands, never appropriated as a commodity or piece of wealth.  Power is employed and exercised through a net-like organisation.  And not only do individuals circulate between its threads; they are always in the position of simultaneously undergoing and exercising this power.  They are not only its inert or consenting target; they are always also the elements of its articulation.  In other words, individuals are the vehicles of power, not its points of application.  (Foucault 1980, p. 93)

All this means that power, when it is exercised through these subtle mechanisms, cannot but evolve, organise and put into circulation a knowledge, or rather apparatuses of knowledge, which are not ideological constructs.  (Foucault 1980, p. 102)

4.3.2 Order and Disorder

Wodak (1996): "Disorders of discourse" in various institutional settings make people fail to understand each other.
"In Wodak's view, then, we have an ideal order that is distorted by power and becomes disorder." (Pennycook 2001, p. 86)

Fairclough: "Orders of discourse" as "ideological positions and practices" (Fairclough, 1995, p. 35)

--> Wodak and Fairclough mean the same thing by two different terms.

Wodak is influenced by Habermas, particularly by his notion of "ideal speech situation."

Ideal speech situation is explained by Crossley (2005, p. 140) as "the notion and possibility of a form of discourse composed of the exchange of reasons and steered by the force of the better argument alone: an exchange of reasons and steered by the force of the better argument alone: an exchange of views and reasons in which the best argument wins and does so only because it is the best argument."
Crossley (2005) Key Concepts in Critical Social Theory Sage.

Crossley also explains that the ideal speech situation is not just Habermas's ideal: it is deduced from an analysis of the (necessary) assumptions of ordinary speech (Crossley 2005, p. 142). The same logic is used when Grice proposed the conversational maxims: they are there when we feel something is missing in the interlocutor's speech when we assume we are being rational. We assume the maxims must be there when they are "flouted" or "violated."

4.3.3 The Nonmaterial Base of Discourse

Foucault's (1980) second objection to the notion of ideology: "ideology stands in a secondary position relative to something which functions as its infrastructure, as its material, economic determinant" (p. 118)

"Dominant groups" =>ideology

Pennycook (2001, p. 91)gives a succinct, but comprehensive description of Foucault's notion of power in TABLE 4.3 "Foucault and Power." (Numbers are added)

(1) Power is not something owned or possessed but rather something that operates throughout society.
(2) Power does not have some ultimate location or origin.
(3) Relations of power are not outside other relations but are part of them.
(4) There is no position outside power and no position from which one can arrive at the truth outside relations of power.
(5) Power is always linked to resistance: Where there is power, there is resistance.
(6) Power is not merely repressive but is also productive.
(7) It is in discourse that power and knowledge and joined together.

4.3.4 Production and Reception

Less attention is paid in CDA in showing how discursive strategies are taken up, understood or resisted. (Pennycook 2001, p. 93)


CLA (Critical Language Awareness) as a pedagogically focused version of CDA.

Fairclough (1992, p. 6) Critical Language Awareness. Longman

People cannot be effective citizens in a democratic society if their education cuts them off from critical consciousness of key elements within their physical or social environment. If we are committed to education establishing resources for citizenship, critical awareness of the language practices of one's speech community is an entitlement.

In the wake of falling standards, the back-to-the-basics reactionism or the development of critical literacy materials?

->Liberal idealism favors only those children that already have access to the skills needed to succeed? (Pennycook 2001, p. 95)

Cope and Kalantzis (1993) The Powers of Literacy: A Genre Approach to Teaching Writing University of Pittsburgh Press

"Explicit pedagogy for inclusion and access" (Cope and Kalantzis 1993, p. 97)
A more carefully worked out version of teaching particular genres of language than teaching the standard language.
"With a critical distance" (Cope and Kalantzis 1993, p. 86)


North Americal critical literacy: voices of marginalized students; "pedagogy of inclusion" (students' own languages and lives form the stuff of critical literacy) rather than "pedagogy" of deferral. (students are not literate until they have mastered key genres)" (Pennycook, 2001, p. 100)

Paulo Freire and Donaldo Macedo (1987) Literacy: Reading the Word and the World Bergin & Garvey Paperback

Reading the world aloways preceedes reading the word, and reading the word implies continually reading the world. (Freire & Macedo, 1987, p. 35)

See the web site of The Paulo and Nita Freire Project for Critical Pedagogy

"What is needed in the field of second language pedagogy is an approach that addresses the existential, political, and axiological questions touching the lives of both students and teachers." Graman (1988, p. 441)

EDUCATION FOR HUMANIZATION: Applying Paulo Friere's Pedagogy to Learning a Second Language. Harvard Educational Revies, 58, 433-448.

-->Romanticizing the voice as the writing/speaking of marginalized people?


Poststructuralism as a skepticism about common assumptions. (Pennycook, 2001, p. 107)

(1) Pluralization: eg. knowledge --> knowledges, subjectivity --> subjectivities

(2) Antiessentialist stance: eg. gender, ethnicity, dichotomies such as native speaker-nonnative speaker, first language-second language, qualitative-quantitative, integrative-instrumental, acquisition-learning.

Judith Butler (1990) Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity Routledge

Wikipedia summrarizes the book as follows:

The crux of Butler's argument in Gender Trouble is that the coherence of the categories of sex, gender, and sexuality -- the natural-seeming coherence, for example, of masculine gender and heterosexual desire in male bodies -- is culturally constructed through the repetition of stylized acts in time. These stylized bodily acts, in their repetition, establish the appearance of an essential, ontological "core" gender. This is the sense in which Butler famously theorizes gender, along with sex and sexuality, as performative. The performance of gender, sex, and sexuality, however, is not a voluntary choice for Butler, who locates the construction of the gendered, sexed, desiring subject within what she calls, borrowing from Foucault’s Discipline and Punish, "regulative discourses." These, also called "frameworks of intelligibility" or "disciplinary regimes," decide in advance what possibilities of sex, gender, and sexuality are socially permitted to appear as coherent or "natural." Regulative discourse includes within it disciplinary techniques which, by coercing subjects to perform specific stylized actions, maintain the appearance in those subjects of the "core" gender, sex and sexuality the discourse itself produces

4.6.1 Toward a Postlinguistics

From a more Marxian framework toward a more Foucauldian one for more complex and subtle analyses. (Pennycook, 2001, p. 108)

Yet, "poststructralist discouse analysis makes often very large claims about the effects of language and discourse without the tools to analyze the microactions of language." (Pennycook, 2001, p. 109)


(1) Language and literacy as always political
(2) Texts and literacy practices as always embedded in social contexts
(3) Focus on the production and reception of texts
(4) Power as that which must be explained: textual analysis as social analysis
(5) Pedagogical and analytic praxis
(Pennycook, 2001, p. 112: TABLE 4.5 Applied Postlinguistic Approaches to Text)


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