A Theory of Literate Action: Literate Action Volume 2
Charles Bazerman, University of California, Santa Barbara
Pub Date: 2013
ISBN 13: 978-1-6023547-9-1
Publisher: WAC Clearinghouse
Conditions of Use
In the second volume to A Theory of Literate Action, Bazerman posits an expansive understanding of how writing operates between the individual’s read more
In the second volume to A Theory of Literate Action, Bazerman posits an expansive understanding of how writing operates between the individual’s psychology and consciousness within society, drawing on authoritative works within the diverse canons of education, linguistics, phenomenology, philosophy, semiotics, and anthropology. As a newer work of advanced theory in rhetorical and writing studies, this text is not a conventional textbook with study guides and a glossary, but the in-text notes and bibliography provides a rich repository of references in traditional and more contemporary studies in the field.
Being a work supported heavily by years of scholarship within and beyond rhetorical studies, the text presents extensive in-text reference to scholarship.
Bazerman’s attention to how technology has transformed and changed the ways in which individuals communicate with each other to achieve goals and actions recognizes how writing operates in our social realities.
Despite the complexity of ideas presented, prose is simple and straightforward. Foundational knowledge of writing and rhetoric is helpful to understanding theory.
Ideas are carefully maintained and presented in direct reference to their original authors, presenting such authors in conversation with one another and thereby showing the interconnectedness of distinct discourses. Though Bazerman posits difficult ideas and large bodies of works from a variety of authors, the language throughout the textbook is straightforward and concise, avoiding verbosity and possible linguistic obstacles to accessing complex theory. Concise headings and structural organization (as evidenced by the table of contents) make for reader-oriented understanding and navigation throughout the text.
The PDF version of the textbook lends itself to printability and assigning sections as separate readings, but less fluid reading as a whole work. The ePub version allows for a more portable and comfortable reading experience, including easy navigation to specific locations within the text.
Clear and informational headings that correspond logically with contents allow for accessibility of complex theory.
Plain text and simple graphics (e.g., boldface and capitalization) provide straightforward reading.
As expected for a scholar of rhetoric, grammar is precise and rhetorically sound for its audience.
The presentation of writing as a complex, personal, shared, societal, psychological, and philosophical action that compels further action demonstrates the power and presence of rhetoric in our culture.
Table of Contents
- Front Matter
- Chapter 1. The Symbolic Animal and the Cultural Transformation of Nature
- Chapter 2. Symbolic Selves in Society: Vygotsky on Language and Formation of the Social Mind
- Chapter 3. Active Social Symbolic Selves: Vygotskian Traditions
- Chapter 4. Active Social Symbolic Selves: The Phenomenological Sociology Tradition
- Chapter 5. Active Social Symbolic Selves: The Pragmatic Tradition within American Social Science
- Chapter 6. Social Order: Structural and Structurational Sociology
- Chapter 7. From the Interaction Order to Shared Meanings
- Chapter 8. Linguistic Orders
- Chapter 9. Utterances and Their Meanings
- Chapter 10. The World in the Text: Indexed and Created
- Chapter 11. The Writer on the Spot and on the Line
About the Book
The second in a two-volume set, A Theory of Literate Action draws on work from the social sciences—and in particular sociocultural psychology, phenomenological sociology, and the pragmatic tradition of social science—to "reconceive rhetoric fundamentally around the problems of written communication rather than around rhetoric's founding concerns of high stakes, agonistic, oral public persuasion" (p. 3). An expression of more than a quarter-century of reflection and scholarly inquiry, this volume represents a significant contribution to contemporary rhetorical theory.
About the Contributors
Charles Bazerman, Professor of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the author of numerous research articles and books on the social role of writing, academic genres, and textual analysis, as well as textbooks on the teaching of writing.