LINGUIST List 14.1566

Tue Jun 3 2003

Diss: Discourse Analysis: Shinabarger: 'A Critical..'

Editor for this issue: Naomi Fox <>


  1. amyrs, A Critical Discourse Analysis...

Message 1: A Critical Discourse Analysis...

Date: Sat, 31 May 2003 18:05:29 +0000
From: amyrs <>
Subject: A Critical Discourse Analysis...

Institution: Arizona State University
Program: Department of English
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2003

Author: Amy Dawn Ruzycki-Shinabarger 

Dissertation Title: A Critical Discourse Analysis of University ESL
Classrooms: Power and Accommodation

Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis

Dissertation Director 1: Karen L Adams
Dissertation Director 2: Elly van Gelderen
Dissertation Director 3: Thomas Hudak

Dissertation Abstract: 

'Power' is a word with myriad definitions and has been studied by
linguists and other scholars in as many contexts. Kiesling (1998)
identifies seven varieties of power from which roles may be built,
Fairclough (1992) indicates that power can be both overt and covert,
and Foucault (1972, 1973) indicates that power comes from below as
well as above. Jones, Gallois, Callan, and Barker (1994, 1995)
examine accommodation not in opposition to power but as a
differently-derived variety of power, more closely resembling
Fairclough's covert power. This project is an examination of the
displays of power and accommodation in the discourse of university ESL
writing instructors and their students through the framework of
critical classroom discourse analysis, as proposed by Kumaravadivelu
(1999). The perceptions of the participating instructors are
contrasted with the perceptions of their students and with the
transcribed discourse from their classrooms. In a ddition, the data
are compared in search of differences based upon the instructor's rank
(Ph.D. or graduate student), whether or not the instructor is a Native
English Speaker or a speaker of English as a Second Language, the
instructor's sex, and whether the class is held in a computer-mediated
or traditional classroom environment. The instructors were interviewed
verbally, and the students were given a questionnaire inquiring about
the classroom environment, the relationship between the students and
instructors, teaching style, and other aspects of the classroom where
power manifests itself. The instructor interview questions match the
questions on the student questionnaire, altered for perspective. The
four participating instructors are two Ph.D.s and two graduate
students, two native English speakers and two non-native speakers, two
males and two females, and two instructors teaching in a
computer-mediated classroom and two teaching in a traditional cla!
 ssroom environment. The 60 student participants speak 19 native
langu ages, with the most frequent being Arabic, Chinese, and English.
Of the student participants, 45 are male and 15 are female. The data
are analyzed for characteristics of power and accommodation, with
specific 17 specific areas of focus, including the use of titles and
honorifics, wait time, the use of humor, pronoun use, and the
instructors' role as a leader or as a facilitator. Results suggest
differences in demonstrations of power and accommodation based upon
the instructors' sex, first language, and rank, but are inconclusive
with regards to differences based upon the presence or absence of
computer mediation.
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