Constructing Experience

Front Cover
SIU Press, 1994 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 267 pages
0 Reviews

Charles Bazerman’s newest book, a selection of both his published and unpublished essays from recent years, ranges from pedagogy to research to theory, exploring how all three levels are motivated by common concerns and how they are integrated through similar concepts and approaches. From this integrative perspective, Bazerman reveals his life-long inquiry into the nature of language—why it exists and what place it holds in the social world.

Presenting a powerful, action-oriented view of language that finds meaning in local circumstances and local uses, Bazerman divides his essays into four parts, beginning with an examination of the classroom experience. In describing the dynamics of the classroom and the relationship of the classroom to surrounding social arrangements, Bazerman notes how reading relates to writing, how interpersonal relations influence and structure acts of reading and writing, and how reading and writing are themselves forms of social action.

Bazerman, in parts 2 and 3, explains how larger forms of social structure are in dialectic with local acts of literacy, how experience of the world influences both everyday writing and empirically driven research, and how individuals conceive of social situations and actions to think about and plan activities. As he admittedly puzzles through conceptual obstacles, Bazerman explores many of the terms and theories evoked in rhetorical studies and provides a critical examination of the theories of James Kinneavy as well as more general thoughts on the nature of rhetorical study.

In part 4, Bazerman reinterprets the classical rhetorical concept of kairos in the light of theory and research in the social sciences, analyzes intertextuality in a scientific text, and offers a rereading of the writings of Adam Smith.

Throughout this book, Bazerman maintains that research into writing is the examination of what people do and have done, what influences what they do, and what texts do to people who write and read them. In addition, he reiterates the importance of literacy as a connecting device, essential to survival, growth, and change. Lack of literacy cuts people off from the institutions and means of life in a society.


What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Sketches Toward a Rhetorical Theory
with Powerful Words
Part 2
Road to a Reading of Priestleys History and Present State
Linguistic and Rhetorical Studies of Disciplinary Language
Discourse Analysis and Social Construction
Part 3
Temporary Boundaries over Unstable Land Masses
Why Representations Are Interesting
Theories That Help Us Read and Write Better 256
Part 4
Gould and Lewontins
Adam Smiths Rhetorical Project 235
Works Cited

The Nature of Expertise in Writing

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1994)

Charles Bazerman is a professor of literature at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Bibliographic information