Composing Research: A Contextualist Paradigm for Rhetoric by Cindy Johanek

By Cindy Johanek

Cindy Johanek bargains a brand new standpoint at the ideological clash among qualitative and quantitative study techniques, and the theories of information that tell them. With a paradigm that's delicate to the context of one's learn questions, she argues, students can increase much less dichotomous types that invoke the strengths of either learn traditions. Context-oriented techniques can carry the narrative from underneath the numbers in an experimental learn, for instance, or deliver the important readability of numbers to an ethnographic study.

A pragmatic pupil, Johanek strikes simply around the obstacles that divide the sphere, and argues for contextualist conception as a lens in which to view composition learn. This procedure brings with it a brand new concentration, she writes. "This new concentration is going to name us to take care of the contexts during which rhetorical matters and study concerns converge, generating diversified varieties, many voices, and new wisdom, certainly reconstructing a self-discipline that may be concurrently occupied with its initiatives, its knowledge-makers, and its students."

Composing Research is a piece filled with own voice dedication and should be a great addition to the examine tools lecture room and to the composition researcher's personal bookshelf.

2000 remarkable Scholarship Award from the foreign Writing facilities Association.

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Additional info for Composing Research: A Contextualist Paradigm for Rhetoric and Composition

Sample text

While the title suggests “multidisciplinary” perspectives on research, authors of most individual essays obviously favored some perspectives over others, fueling an alreadygrowing debate about our research and research methods. Harste, for example, set the tone in the “Foreword” by sharing a story in which an international student asked him about his use of the phrase “nauseous positivism” during a debate about research methods in a graduate seminar at Indiana University (ix). Harste shared the story in order to illustrate his own position in the debate and to highlight the passion of the debate itself.

This reductive labeling is going on in composition studies at a time when cognitive researchers in developmental and educational psychology, artificial intelligence, and philosophy are posing more elaborate and domain-specific models of cognition. (294) In contrast to Berthoff, then, Rose saw research findings “stripped away” from context not by the researchers, but largely by the readers of that research: ourselves. In spite of his analysis, however, most scholars in composition through the late 1980s and early 1990s have seen themselves as irreconcilably divided by methodological and epistemological differences.

These assaults destroy absolutes and leave us in fear of an ultimate meaninglessness that will paralyze action and thought. (5) Phelps praised the postmodern consciousness for its attack on scientism—science’s belief in its own methods, proof, knowledge— and for questioning the knowledge that scientism has upheld as “permanently valid” and with “absolute authority” (9). In Foucault’s (1972) terms, a whole “field of questions” has emerged, seeking “discontinuity (threshold, rupture, break, mutation, transformation)” (5-6).

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