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Students eventually write an eight- to ten-page paper based onTour to five weeks of ethnographic re- - search.
To focus their ethnographic observations toward rhetorical research, students must consider the connections between social interaction, acts of persuasion, identification, and use of discourses in their field site. To understand which statements persuade dif- ferent group members, for instance, students need to consider what values and social roles members identify with, as well as what assumptions underlie their actions and discourse choices. To accomplish this rhetorical analysis, students must interpret their observations as tensions between solidarity and status within the group. For the English education majors in particular, this research can give them new ways to examine complicated interactions they encounter in their teaching observations and practicums. This ethnographic perspective toward rhetoric, for instance, offered Charity another way to make sense of the strong, confus- ing teen personalities she encountered in her student teaching observations at a nearby inner-city school (Harris 1999). In the course of her observations in this ninth-grade class, several groups of girls, both white and black, confronted Charity, a white, middle- class student originally from the rural West, with talk and behav- iors she would not expect if she were their teacher. Some of the girls tended to confide intimate secrets Charity did not think she was entitled to hear, while a few others buy research paper urgently publicly tested her in- - 131 - WRITING ASSIGNMENTS between role of student teacher with a barrage of sexual street talk.
Based on this difficult situation, Charity came to ask: What are these particular buy research paper urgently girls trying to convince others about them- selves through their very public performances? Although Char- ity encountered problems focusing and organizing her study, as all ethnographers do, she eventually framed her work around common issues of female adolescent identity.
You can almost identify where a person is coming from or going with their thoughts. Then I overheard a conversation she had with her friend Sam in the hallway last week.
Beth is trying to live up to the rumors that are spread about her. The dominant practice of teaching rhetoric and communication in first-year composition classes tends to privilege the speaker over the audience. In the Aristotelian model (1991), the rhetor seeks to shape his ethos to the values, beliefs, and motivations of his intended audience. This is the common structure of the enthymeme, in which the buy research paper urgently rhetor leaves the auditor to fill in the missing premise of informal logic with his or her own under- standing. Of course, femi- nist rhetoricians (such as Ratcliffe 1999) also emphasize this view, and their tenets hold much in common with ethnographic meth- odology. From this rhetorical perspective, when ethnographers set out to understand situated insider perspectives, they are consent- ing to be persuaded by the people they talk to, participate with, and observe. They need to rethink their worlds and perceptions 164 - 134 - Rhetoric in Action: An Ethnographic View of their reality based on a dialectic with the approximated per- spective of others. When students pay close attention to the rhetorical actions of a social group and the power relations within it as they occur, they see for themselves the inadequacy of the traditional rhetorical triangle of rhetor, text, and auditor. Eth- nographic research, on the other hand, treats culture as a process of emergent meanings and knowledges, rather than as a series of positions and texts.
But when he responded to his field notes and discussed them in class, he saw little controversy, believing he would now have a tough time writing the actual paper. This assisted me in expressing my opinions and in voting about potential candidates. He analyzed why committee mem- bers, himself included, implicitly consented to stifle legitimate questions and complaints in their arduous selection process. For comprehensive teaching models in the writing process of ethnographic research, I recommend Chiseri-Strater and Sunstein (1997), Zebroski (1994), and Zebroski and Mack (1992). Questions for Rhetorical Inquiry Social Interaction: How would you describe the kinds of social interac- tion going on? What is the relationship between speakers and audiences (or rhetors and auditors)? Acts of Persuasion: Who seems to be persuaded by whom? What assumptions and values underlie the statements, actions, and motives that group members find internally persuasive? Use of Discourses: What kinds of discourse (general ones and ones spe- cific to the group) are used by individuals in the group? How persuasive to others is the use of this discourse?
Questions for Ethnographic Inquiry Talk: What is said, who says it, and in what contexts? What communi- cations are openly stated and what are unspoken? Behaviors: How do people act and react to each other?
What values might be associ- ated with these behaviors?
What might they be saying to each other about their dress, manner, and so on? How might talk and behaviors relate to different social roles within the group and culture?
Do they relate to gender or social class or other social positions? Location: How do people relate to the setting(s) they are in? What does it suggest about the values and attitudes of the culture and the individu- als in it? I owe much of this rhetorical view of ethnographic method to con- versations with my colleague Julie Lindquist.
Speaking Culturally: Explorations in Social Communication. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. Thinking through Theory: Vygotskian Perspec- tives on the Teaching of Writing. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. FSU is a public, coeducational university with a student population of approximately 33,000. Women con- stitute 55 percent and minorities 22 percent of the enrollment. FSU prides itself on its commitment to technology, and it was voted the eighteenth most wired campus in the United States in a 2000 Yahoo! Because of the num- ber of computer labs on campus and the free Internet connec- tions in each dorm, access is not a major issue for FSU students. In anticipation of an online version of our introductory com- position course, English 1101, our composition program con- ducted a survey of forty first-year writing courses, with 1,200 students responding. The results of the survey show that our stu- dent population is computer savvy: 75 percent began using com- puters in elementary school, and more than half use the Internet to conduct research or send e-mail. FSU encourages teachers to integrate technology into their classrooms, and our students are responsive to assignments that require them to use electronic bulletin boards, e-mail, or the World Wide Web.