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Gee Summary

In: English and Literature

Submitted By namnguyen12
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Gee Summary
In this work written by James Paul Gee, explaining that you as an individual are more subject to gaining discourse from primary discourse (parents, siblings, family), and reinforced by secondary discourse (social goods such as money, prestige, power.) Gee states that "language" can be a term that is misleading because it often suggests that it refers to "grammar" However, language and grammar are two different things. Language is written words whereas grammar is seen as fixing the written words to make the work flow better. The central terms to the text are primary and secondary discourses. Primary discourse are being a member of a primary socializing group (family, clan, peer group). Secondary discourses are the mastery of a particular discourse at a certain place and time, bringing with it the acquisition of "social goods"( Literacy, Discourse, and Linguistics, By James Paul Gee). The reason these themes are so important is that a primary discourse is one in which you learn from individuals that are close to you. After, you have mastered the primary discourse you take what you learned from primary discourse, then through further mastery from other individuals you begin to construct the world around you. Once you have mastered secondary discourse you are able to compete for money power, and prestige. The first concept of the text is that primary and secondary discourses are necessary for an individual to be able to compete in society. After, mastering these skills you are able to gauge yourself against other individuals and see where you "stack up" to them when it comes to competition for things deemed necessary for survival. One key fact to keep in mind is that primary discourses vary across cultural, ethnic, regional, and economic groups in the United States. This can sometimes put individuals at a disadvantage compared to individuals who haven't been placed in the same sphere having to come all the way from the bottom just to master a discourse deemed necessary for success. The second concept in this text is that if you cant master the discourse then you are considered a non-member of the dominant group. By mastering the primary discourse you should are able to define literacy as the mastery of or fluent control over a secondary discourse. It is important to remember that discourses are attached to identity. If you fail to display an identity, which is key to announcing that you have the same identity as the members of that group. Mastering the discourse determines if the individual is a beginner or pretender.…...

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