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Teaching Writing in Sociology: A Social Constructionist Approach

Leon Anderson and Mara Holt
Teaching Sociology
Vol. 18, No. 2 (Apr., 1990), pp. 179-184
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1318488
Page Count: 6
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Teaching Writing in Sociology: A Social Constructionist Approach
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Abstract

The writing-across-the-curriculum movement has taken two directions. One direction (the stronger to date) emphasizes writing in substantive courses in the disciplines. The other advocates actual writing courses taught in the disciplines rather than by English department faculty. This second direction is relatively undeveloped, but is growing. The continuing development of writing courses in sociology has two primary needs: 1) a theoretically informed composition pedagogy and 2) a set of assignments on which such a course can be based. We provide an overview of the "social constructionist" approach to teaching composition and describe a course team-taught by us (a sociologist and an English professor) which was based on the social constructionist paradigm. We conclude by stressing that sociological writing is a special type of discourse which can be taught most effectively by sociologists who understand pedagogical theory in the teaching of writing.

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