Genre Theory II

For yesterday’s genre theory session we looked at the first chapter from Amy
Devitt’s book,

Writing Genres
, and the first and third chapters from Paul Prior’s book,

(both of which have searchable copy at
Google Print). 
Devitt gracefully works genre into an interactive model between individuals (at
a basic level); social structures, genre, and groups (at an intermediary level)
and context of culture, context of genre and context of situation (at an
ultimate level).  It’s meant to simplify a complex set of relationships, I
think, and as a model it does well to give a graphic alternative to some fairly
heady stuff.  But I’m still a bit murky on the role genre plays in scaling
between the lived, everyday activity (often communicative, often recurrent–as
in, not another grocery list) and the higher/broader orders.  Genre,
given to patterns of activity, would ask of us to point to evidence of the
relationship between the broader abstract levels and the more ornate,
idiosyncratic actions of individuals.  Forgive me though; I’m the one who’s
murky (shall I explain in a supplem-entry?).  Better to read Devitt
first-hand than to take this as a solid handle on her project.

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