What does writing do

I found Bazerman’s Shaping “Written Knowledge: The Genre and Activity of the Experimental Article in Science” online fully available as a PDF file, which was great since it is hard to get hold on and I have to return my library copy now. As the title suggests he writes about written knowledge in science and studies the writing practices in different disciplines. His standpoint is constructivist oriented and praxis based and is looking at science as carried out by rhetorics. It is all in the writing you could say but not entirely so or at least you have to problematize what you mean by writing. To carry out his examination how written knowledge in the sciences is created he uses case studies and looks at rhetoric activity as the interaction of microevents where the choices are made by individuals and macrostructures where the context and social forms over time is shaping choices. You could also say that he intertwine the scholarly practice with the written discourse and don’t separate it to make specific writing rules etc. The writing is not only defined as the text and you can not tell what writing does by only textual analysis but Bazerman situates the text in the discourse community much in the same line of thinking that I understand Swales genre theoretical approach. Also with Bazerman is physics the main case study – although it isn’t the intention for Bazerman it is strange that physics always becomes the discipline to use as a “role model”, why is that?


One comment

  1. In my opinion physics is used as a role model when science is described because physics is easy, that is there are no major controversies within the field, such as requests for new paradigms or never ending fights between different interpreters of the field. Therefore it is possible, or rather a lot easier, to study some of the other aspects of the science as the field as such is better defined in physics than in any other field of science.

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