1st Edition

Composing Social Identity in Written Language

Edited By Donald L. Rubin Copyright 1995

    This volume constitutes a unique contribution to the literature on literacy and culture in several respects. It links together aspects of social variation that have not often been thus juxtaposed: ethnicity/nationality, gender, and participant role relations. The unifying theme of this collection of papers is that all of these factors are aspects of writers' identities -- identities which are simultaneously expressed and constructed in text.

    The topic of social identity and writing can be approached from a variety of scholarly avenues, including humanistic, critical, and historical perspectives. The papers in the present volume make reference to and contribute to such humanistic perspectives; however, this book lies squarely within the tradition of social science. It draws primarily upon the disciplines of linguistics, discourse analysis, anthropology, social and cognitive psychology, and education studies.

    The constituent topics of social identity, style, and writing themselves lie at the intersections of several related fields of scholarship. Writing remains of peak interest to educators from many fields, and is still a "hot" topic. The instructional ramifications of the particular issues addressed in this volume are of vital concern to educational systems adjusting to the realities of our multicultural society. This publication, therefore, should attract a substantial and diverse readership of scholars, educators, and policymakers affiliated with many fields including applied linguistics, composition and rhetoric, communication studies, dialect studies, discourse analysis, English composition, English/language arts education, ethnic studies, language behavior, literacy, sociolinguistics, stylistics, women's studies, and writing research and instruction.

    Contents: D.L. Rubin, Introduction: Composing Social Identity. Part I:Composing Ethnolinguistic Identity. M.D. Linn, Stylistic Variation in Vernacular Black English and the Teaching of College Composition. R. Horowitz, Orality in Literacy: The Uses of Speech in Written Language by Bilingual and Bicultural Writers. U. Connor, Examining Syntactic Variation Across Three English-Speaking Nationalities Through a Multifeature/Multidimensional Approach. G.L. Nelson, J.G. Carson, N. Danison, L. Gajdusek, Social Dimensions of Second-Language Writing Instruction: Peer Response Groups as Cultural Context. Part II:Composing Gender Identity. D.H. Roen, C. Peguesse, V. Abordonado, Gender and Language Variation in Written Communication. D.L. Rubin, K. Greene, The Suppressed Voice Hypothesis in Women's Writing: Effects of Revision on Gender-Typical Style. E. Roulis, Gendered Voice in Composing, Gendered Voice in Evaluating: Gender and the Assessment of Writing Quality. Part III:Composing Writer-Audience Role Relations. M. Crowhurst, The Developmental Stylistics of Young Writers' Communicative Intentions. K.H. Swanson, Ultimatum and Negotiation: Gender Differences in Student Writing. T.M. Redd, Untapped Resources: "Styling" in Black Students' Writing for Black Audiences.


    Donald L. Rubin

    "The strengh of this collection lies in its recognition of the ethnography of writing....discusses a variety of factors which shape the identity of writers and thus affect their writing."
    Technical Communication Quarterly