Worlds Apart: Acting and Writing in Academic and Workplace Contexts, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Worlds Apart

Acting and Writing in Academic and Workplace Contexts, 1st Edition

By Patrick Dias, Aviva Freedman, Peter Medway, Anthony Par‚


266 pages

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pub: 1999-04-01
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Worlds Apart: Acting and Writing in Academic and Workplace Contexts offers a unique examination of writing as it is applied and used in academic and workplace settings. Based on a 7-year multi-site comparative study of writing in different university courses and matched workplaces, this volume presents new perspectives on how writing functions within the activities of various disciplines: law and public administration courses and government institutions; management courses and financial institutions; social-work courses and social-work agencies; and architecture courses and architecture practice. Using detailed ethnography, the authors make comparisons between the two types of settings through an understanding of how writing is operative within the particularities of these settings.

Although the research was initially established to further understanding of the relationships between writing in academic and workplace settings, it has evolved to examining writing as it is embedded in both types of settings--where social relationships, available tools, and historical, cultural, temporal, and physical location are all implicated in complex ways in the decisions people make as writers. Readers of this volume will discover that the uniqueness of each setting makes salient different aspects of writers and writing, resulting in complex, and potentially unsettling implications for writing theory and the teaching of writing.


"This book has a worthy goal: to compare the writing done in university courses that attempt to prepare students for professional careers with the writing done in the actual workplaces where these same students intend to find jobs….The results are rich in telling details that support the claim of the title Worlds Apart: When students move from classroom to workplace, no only do the purposes for their writing change, but the change in settings affects their work as well. The examples, quotations, and stories that attest to these contrasts form the best part of this book."

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Table of Contents

Contents: Editor's Introduction. Preface. Part I: Introduction. Introduction: Researching Writing at School and at Work. Situating Writing. Part II: University Writing. The Social Motive of University Writing. Complications and Tensions. Writing and the Formation of the Architect. Part III: Workplace Writing. The Complexity of Social Motive in Workplace Writing. Distributed Cognition at Work. From Words to Bricks: Writing in an Architectural Practice. Part IV: Transitions. Students and Workers Learning. Virtual Realities: Transitions From University to Workplace Writing. Contexts for Writing: University and Work Compared.

About the Series

Rhetoric, Knowledge, and Society Series

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