James Paul Gee's Discourse Analysis

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James Paul Gee defined discourse as “ a socially accepted association among ways of using language, of thinking, feeling, believing, valuing, and of acting that can be used to identify oneself as a member of a socially meaningful group or 'social network.'” In Gee’s journal, What Is Literacy?, he made five points about discourses which included being able to recognize objects and values in a specific discourse, and obtaining power and status when associated with a discourse. Those two points were essentially important when I was associated with my high school yearbook discourse. In that particular example, those two points were crucially interwoven throughout the yearbook community. Objects such as a pen alongside a notepad, event passes, and cameras were found in…show more content…
Recognized by these items, fellow students acted appropriately when I, and other yearbook staff members were spotted, i.e., posing for pictures with friends, asking what the year’s theme was, questioning when sport’s team photos were scheduled, etcetera. When I was in charge of the yearbook, as editor, all students and faculty expected high quality work. Though the situation was stressful, it had the ability to place certain students, I included, in a position of power. With power comes responsibility, but additionally it came with status in this discourse. When in charge, reliability is key. Scheduling group pictures to be taken, or assigning high stake sports events to be covered was something important, and could not be taken lightly. This was to insure that the perfect moment was captured. Being late for an event or not being prepared could lead to poor quality pictures and a mediocre yearbook. Also, many risks were taken to get the breath taking shots, in many cases. That meant getting up close and personal, on the field, at a school dance, truly anything to get phenomenal pictures. There were many times

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