Discourse Paper Draft

James Paul Gee and Lisa Delpit, two highly intelligent people that have written some incredible things. From Gee’s book “Literacy, Discourse, and Linguistics Introduction” to Delpit’s paper on “The Politics of Teaching Literate Discourse”. To the average person you’ll probably never hear about these people in your lifetime. But for those people in a college writing class or are doing a study on discourse or literacy, these people are going to pop up alot. Gee talks about discourse as an “identity kit”( 7) it comes with teaching you how to do something and how to look in different areas. He later on talks about discourse in two different ways “Primary discourse and secondary discourse”. Primary discourse as Gee explains it “is the one we first use to make sense of the world and interact with others” (page 7). Simply put it learn to interact with ourselves and others around us.

Now sSecondary discourse, unlike primary secondary discourse, is the learning aspect. It lets you see and notice facts from the given topic and learn off of them. isn’t from being apart of something but more of the fact of being given something and learning from that. According to Gee, Gee simply explains it as “Each of these social institutions commands and demands one or more discourses and we acquire these fluently to the extent that we are given access to these institutions and are allowed apprenticeships within them” (page 8). Now it comes to Delpit her thoughts on discourse areis the completely opposite of Gee. Delpit believes that there are two major problems with Gee’s ideas on discourse. First is “Gee’s notion that people who have not been born into dominant discourse will find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to acquire such a discourse” (page 546). And sSecondly is “the aspect of Gee’s work that will find troubling suggest that an individual who is born into one discourse with one set of values may experience major conflicts when acquiring another discourse with another set of values” (page 546-547). The way that Delpit is looking at discourse is if you don’t have one or if you weren’t born into it doesn’t mean that you won’t get one.

From both Delpit and Gee’s paper on discourse they both disagree on how to acquire it they. Both explain in their work the  ways that discourse is acquired whether it is by interactions with people or from a classroom setting. James Paul Gee expresses that to acquire acquiring a discourse is from “[a] social practices through [scaffolded]scaffold and supported interaction with people who have already mastered the Discourse” (page 7), and that a discourse is not mastered from someone trying to instruct people by giving them note on how to do something step by step. While Delpit exclaims that a discourse can be acquired in a classroom setting but you will always have that person that believes you can’t be taught. Delpit explains “If teachers were to adopt both of the premises suggested by Gee’s work, not only would they view the acquisition of a new discourse in a classroom impossible to achieve, but they might also the goal of acquiring a discourse questionable at best” (page 547), which shows that she believes Gee’s ideas are all wrong. Both Gee and Delpit believe that a discourse can be acquired, while Gee thinks is for the thought that it is not isn’t mastered but you learn it from someone that has already  mastered it. is confusing. When Delpit believes that a discourse is something that everyone can learn as long as you are willing to learn and as you don’t believe or follow what Gee is saying.

Agreeing With Delpit’s idea that she doesn’t believe that Gee is right about discourse “Gee’s notion that people who have not been born into dominant discourse will find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to acquire such a discourse” (page 546). I’d agree with this because the way that Gee is saying it is if you have nothing then you are going to born with nothing. Looking at the movie “Bend it Like Beckham” Jess has to go through this with her family. At first her mother doesn’t like the idea of her playing soccer because she is showing to skin and is spending too much time on the pitch. But at the end of the movie Jess realizes that she can do both by finding her discourse and finding the balance. The balance doesn’t just come from the her but also from the family accepting the fact that this is what Jess wants to do.

With Gee explaining that a discourse is an identity kit it really fitting because people sometimes look at someone or something and just think that this is all they can do. But that’s not the case with everyone an example of this is clear from this movie. When Jess first goes to practice with Juls and she is talking the coach she thinks that she is a joke. Not coming prepared with all the proper equipment and dressed in the wrong stuff. Then she goes out and practicepractice’s and shows up a lot of the other girls there and surprises her coach. This example truly shows that you can’t judge people by what they look like because their true identity will show.

Gee explains that primary discourse “is the one we first use to make sense of the world and interact with others” (page 7). Now that might just seem like a bunch of words that doesn’t mean much but it has a greater meaning. Breaking his reasoning on primary discourse it down it  helps someone get a general idea of someone and how they interact. A good example from this can be found in the movie “Bend it like Beckham” when the father gives Jess permission to leave her sister’s wedding early so that she can go to the futbol match because he knows how much it means to her. And also knows that this is the best way that she will interact with people and interact and be herself. The way that this connects with what Gee says is because Jess’s father is making the connection with Jess and interacting with her for the first time since she started playing because he thought she was wasting her time. He also know that futbol is really important to her and gives her permission to do what she believes is right and what she wants to do.

Although Gee and Delpit disagree on how a discourse can be learned it doesn’t mean that they disagree on the fact learning a discourse is important. Withhich Gee explaining that a discourse can only be learned from being born with it and  not you can’t be learn it from someone that has mastered it is ridiculous. Which Delpit says that a discourse is a and be thought from someone that has a mastered that even if you aren’t born with something doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t be able to learn it.Yes, I agree with Delpit that  I agree with Delpit, yes, if you aren’t born with something it’s going to take hard work to learn something but it is possible. Anything is possible if you set your mind to it.