The language of a community is larger than a set of vocabulary words. It involves the action of presentation and delivery. These must be learned and coordinated. One's usage of this Discourse is judged by the community one inhabits. Knowledge and use of the Discourse determines literacy, which in turn often determines acceptance in the community. There are other membership-determining factors depending on the community. For example, a pauper who knows the Discourse of the Millionaire's Club probably won't make it in the door, but then part of the Discourse might include the actual use of cash or credit, in which case one could argue that the pauper does not have the Discourse mastered.
There are times when established, or semi-established, members of a group or community use their social capital to broaden the discourse and practice of the group in order to "make an exception for" a new member, or an expansion of acceptable discourses or practices. I call this bending Discourse. It is a form of subversion or propaganda that can be applied by members at all levels. The success or failure in doing so may be determined in part by the movements and Discourses of the communities around them, the cleverness of their strategy, their social capital, or the luck of catching the wave at the right moment.
The purpose of this section of my website is to examine my identities and research history in terms of some of the themes discussed in Language, Literacy, and Culture class that I took in Fall 2004 with Jim Gee.
As my research is beginning to move into online worlds, I need to become more familiar with that Discourse, in order to see it through the theories of my theoretical influences. This is especially important as I begin to look in depth at one world. The decision to present my research in a web format, despite negative reviews is part of that process.