chapter  7
20 Pages

The Paradoxical Effort After Coherence in Academic Writing Games

This book has been about how academic writing practices that I refer to metaphorically as game-like are carried out by individuals in different academic settings in higher education and how these practices are implicated in the construction of writers’ identities and the positioning of those identities within academic communities of practice. An assumption I do not contest is that within academic communities the purposes for writing differ as do the levels of expertise of the many players and that these purposes and levels of expertise are not fixed. A thread cutting across all settings and throughout this book, therefore, is that people’s identities as novices or experts and as more or less peripherally or centrally positioned change as their practices change or as they seek new playing fields. As their practices change, in other words, their understandings change (an intellectual or cognitive transition) and their roles change (a social and political transition). The result is that they come to see themselves and be seen in new ways.