Essay on The Discourse Of Middle Class Academic Life

1729 Words Sep 19th, 2016 7 Pages
By comparing and contrasting, Williams is able to expand upon how a different discourse can affect the people interacting with the person with the discourse. Because of these discourses, a researcher or teacher should respect and attempt to work with it. On page 345, Williams compares a student of his to his father. His father grew up “in a small town during the U.S. Depression, made the clear choice after leaving home to embrace the discourse of middle class academic life… to [a] degree that his relationship with his parents and sister became strained and almost irreparable”. In contrast, Williams’ student was unsure if she wanted to embrace the discourse of her classroom because she was worried that it would cause a disruption with her family at home. By comparing his father and his student, he presents how discourse not only affects relationships within a classroom, but also within the relationships of a family. The student experienced a conflict with the other students because her dominant discourse interfered with theirs’-which was the dominant discourse; essentially she was taught to have a personal attachment to conversations, so she felt that her fellow students were aggressively attacking ideas during discussions. Because of this, she became uncomfortable giving her ideas to the class. A teacher in this position should try to determine a common ground so that a student like the one Williams describes could feel comfortable in the classroom while retaining her…

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