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LINGUIST List 19.1716

Thu May 29 2008

Diss: Disc Analysis: Chandrasoma: 'Coping with Interdisciplinarity...'

Editor for this issue: Evelyn Richter <evelynlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Ranamukalage Chandrasoma, Coping with Interdisciplinarity: Postgraduate writing in business studies

Message 1: Coping with Interdisciplinarity: Postgraduate writing in business studies
Date: 29-May-2008
From: Ranamukalage Chandrasoma <ranamukalage.chandrasomadet.nsw.edu.au>
Subject: Coping with Interdisciplinarity: Postgraduate writing in business studies
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Institution: University of Technology Sydney
Program: PhD
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2007

Author: Ranamukalage Chandrasoma

Dissertation Title: Coping with Interdisciplinarity: Postgraduate writing in business studies

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis

Dissertation Director:
Alastair Pennycook
Charles Bazerman
Vijay Bhatia
Mike Baynham

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis critically investigates how student writers cope with
interdisciplinarity in business studies at postgraduate level. The corpus
of knowledge student writers have to grapple with today seems to distance
itself from the traditional mono-disciplinary contexts. Texts as well as
the students who construct them are being continuously informed and
conditioned by new values and imperatives of relatively new discursive
practices. Hence student writing especially at postgraduate level can be
regarded as a complex academic endeavour where students have to take up
multiple writing positions. Analyzing student texts against the backdrop of
the enormous intertextual and interdiscursive resources pertaining to
interdisciplinarity is a major component of this thesis.

Electivizatiion of the curricula, on the other hand, while providing
student writers with a wide range of choices, has created yawning gaps
between what is commonly known as prior knowledge and what is yet to be
learnt in the form of new knowledges. These epistemological orientations,
i.e., how disciplinary knowledge is acquired, evaluated, contested, and
strategically used also constitute an integral part of this research.

Also of importance in the above contexts are the often lengthy and
generically diverse assessment tasks students are required to accomplish
within specific deadlines. The nature and structure of assignment topics
and assessment tasks have in the past two decades or so undergone
tremendous changes owing in large measure to disciplinary as well as
socio-economic imperatives. Student writing has several dimensions in terms
of the mode of assessment: e.g. examination-based, presentation-based,
research-based, observation-based. This thesis, however, will focus on
research-based writing tasks.

Based on the findings of this thesis, a paradigm called critical
interdisciplinarity has been proposed in the concluding chapter.
Pedagogical and curricular considerations play a vital role in critical

By virtue of their encyclopaedic dimensions, knowledge domains relating to
academic interdisciplinarity in student writing lend themselves to a wide
range of future research projects. An attempt has been made here to
critically explore only a tiny proportion of this inexhaustible repertoire
of knowledge.

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