Tuesday, May 06, 2008


The first chapter of James Gee's An Introduction to Discourse is so riddled with scare quotes that I find myself reluctant to continue despite its otherwise readable style. Why do I dislike seeing words like "truth" and "discourse" in quotation marks? Maybe it's because of the highly political nature of quotation marks that I see in the media here in China, but it's more than that, too. If we have to put everything in quotes -- well, what's the point?

Also, I have to cut right to the chase when I get involved with stuff like this: if a theory is based on the social construction of knowledge/reality/language/whatever -- that stuff is the way it is because we make it the way it is -- what are the implications for somebody who believes there's a God somewhere above/behind/inside this mess?

I'm not sure I have a satisfactory answer. A scholar I admire said "I am critical because I am Christian." This gives me hope, but I don't know quite if it would play out the same way in my own work, if I chose that path.

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