Bracewell & Witte (2008) Implications of practice, activity and semiotic theory for cognitive constructs of writing Ch 15 in Albright & Luke (eds) Pierre Bourdieu and Literacy Education
Mimesis – “imitation” – in the sense of “re-presentation “rather than of “copying”
The current challenge for those who study writing is how to integrate special, material and cultural factors that bear on writing with cognitive factors that underlie planning, writing and revising text.
Seeks to examine the correspondences among principle theoretical constructs of socio-cultural and cognitive approaches.
· habitus / expertise: regular and regulating, structured and structuring
· the role of signs, representation, semiosis in allowing a person to interact with the social and material world (activity) / symbols in cognitive theory – knowledge as representation
· the sense of playing the game – performance under the constraint of bounded rationality
‘effects do not require conscious thought, they do require semiosis’
· role of dialectic and the significance of ill / structured tasks – dialectic is what enables the realisation of constructs in particular situations correspondence – the ill-structured task – part of achieving the goal is to define it; for activity theorist activity changes context and altered context changes activity.
Aim of article would seem to be to draw to a conclusion arguments about the nature of writing as either socio-cultural or cognitive.
Also seems to suggest that key concepts: unlimited semiosis, habit(us), procedurialisation, tool mediation and task definition – highlight need to specify in much greater detail the ‘content’ of the writing act.
This content has 2 domains
a) i) the knowledge the writer brings in creating both task; ii) text and how does one retrieve, transform and construct knowledge in the course of writing
b) i) the material contingencies of writing, the nature of writing tools and how these effect writing; ii) the role writing plays in constructing our world