Basic Writing As Cultural Conflict Essay examples

1429 Words Oct 13th, 2016 6 Pages
In “Basic Writing as Cultural Conflict,” Tom Fox presents and then critiques various well-intentioned theories and frameworks that attempt to define basic writers and influence basic writing programs. He begins by repudiating deficit theories that center on perceived inadequacy as characteristic of the basic writer, the skills view that focuses on correcting student error, and service course ideology that simply views basic writing in a vacuum, separate and worthless to the institutions that house them. According to Fox, all these principles assume that basic writers and basic writing classes bring no value to the classroom and the academic community, subsequently discounting students’ knowledge, talents, and skills. As a result, both students and teachers become estranged from each other, the curriculum, and institution. Next, Fox discusses how initiation theory attempts to empower basic writing students and teachers by necessitating “basic writing teachers and researchers to reconceive their work in the social and political terms that give dignity to their own and students’ efforts” (69). However, although initiation theory acknowledges and validates the backgrounds of students, it still undermines students by presuming, similarly to deficit theory and skills view ideology, that some ignorance in students prevents them from successfully…

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