Language, Culture, Identity and Citizenship in College Classrooms and Communities: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Language, Culture, Identity and Citizenship in College Classrooms and Communities

1st Edition

By Juan C. Guerra


180 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Language, Culture, Identity and Citizenship in College Classrooms and Communities examines what takes place in writing classrooms beyond academic analytical and argumentative writing to include forms that engage students in navigating the civic, political, social and cultural spheres they inhabit. It presents a conceptual framework for imagining how writing instructors can institute campus-wide initiatives, such as Writing Across Communities, that attempt to connect the classroom and the campus to the students’ various communities of belonging, especially students who have been historically underserved.

This framework reflects an emerging perspective—writing across difference—that challenges the argument that the best writing instructors can do is develop the skills and knowledge students need to make a successful transition from their home discourses to academic discourses. Instead, the value inherent in the full repertoire of linguistic, cultural and semiotic resources students use in their varied communities of belonging needs to be acknowledged and students need to be encouraged to call on these to the fullest extent possible in the course of learning what they are being taught in the writing classroom. Pedagogically, this book provides educators with the rhetorical, discursive and literacy tools needed to implement this approach.

Table of Contents



1. Fixity and Fluidity

Part I. Building Theory through Lived Experience

2. Language Difference and Inequality

3. Navigating Cultures in Flux

4. The Rhetoric and Ideology of Self-Representation

5. Cultivating Citizens in the Making

Part II. Putting Theory into Play

6. Voices from the Front Lines

7. Enacting and Sustaining Institutional Change


About the Author

Juan C. Guerra is a Professor of English and Chair of the Department of American Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA.

About the Series

NCTE-Routledge Research Series

The NCTE-Routledge Research Series

Series Editors

Valerie Kinloch, The Ohio State University

Susi Long, University of South Carolina


The NCTE-Routledge Research Series, copublished by the National Council of Teachers of English and Routledge, focuses on literacy studies in P-12 classroom and related contexts. Volumes in this series are invited publications or publications submitted in response to a call for manuscripts. They are primarily authored or co-authored works which are theoretically significant and broadly relevant to the P-12 literacy community. The series may also include occasional landmark compendiums of research.

The scope of the series includes qualitative and quantitative methodologies; a range of perspectives and approaches (e.g., sociocultural, cognitive, feminist, linguistic, pedagogical, critical, historical, anthropological); and research on diverse populations, contexts (e.g., classrooms, school systems, families, communities), and forms of literacy (e.g., print, electronic, popular media).

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Multicultural Education
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Composition & Creative Writing