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Applying Burke's Theory of Identification in Teaching First-

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Lacy Hope

on 12 April 2014

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Transcript of Applying Burke's Theory of Identification in Teaching First-

Applying Burke's Theory of Identification in Teaching First-Year Composition
Comparing Theories
Identification Defined
Developed by Kenneth Burke
The means a speaker uses to align her approach to the expectations of the audience
"An ego identifies with another and... tries to behave like it ...absorbing all of its characteristics" (327).
Rhetorical Criticisms
Generic Criticism
Lacy Culpepper
Dixie State University

Inner-Directed Theory
Early development renders language innate
Does not fall subject social influence
Possess a universal application
Readers retain same expectations and can be persuaded in the same way
Outer-Directed Theory
"Universal structures can't be taught"
"Thinking and language can never occur free of social context"
Language is shaped by the writer's discourse community
Communities possess certain vocabularies and approaches for argument construction
"The individual is already inside a discourse community when she learns a native tongue" (368-9).
Application to First-Year Composition
Initially explained as an innate language-based process
Instructors should frame identification as a concrete strategy
Allows for the conceptualization of a community's established style
"Rooted in the assumption that certain types of situations provoke similar needs and expectations in audiences" (137).

The student will analyze:
1. Styles of texts and modes of argument
2. Regularities in the composing process
3. Regularities in reading process
4. Social roles performed by writers and readers (139).
Cluster Criticism
Applying Burke's Theory of Identification in Teaching First-Year Composition
Lacy Culpepper
Dixie State University, student
"What goes with what?... what subjects cluster about other subjects?" (65)
The student will assess:
1. Frequent reoccurring key terms
2. The words that cluster around the key term
3. The relationship between the key term and the cluster terms (66).
In order for first-year composition students to successfully compose for a particular audience, then, they must be aware of their presence in discourse communities; and subsequently, instructors must enable students to utilize Burke’s theory of identification as an applicable strategy of conceptualizing the tactics of persuasion, especially in the academic discourse community.
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