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Constructing ethnicity and identity in the online classroom: Linguistic practices and ritual text acts Macfadyen, Leah P. 2008-08-09

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 1 Constructing ethnicity and identity in the online classroom: Linguistic practices and ritual text acts Leah P. Macfadyen Skylight (Science Centre for Learning and Teaching), The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, Abstract In  this  paper  I  describe  how  online  learners  participate  in  textually-mediated  'ritual performance' as a means of attesting to their ethnicity and constructing cultural identities in a  virtual  learning  environment.  Evidence  for  this  phenomenon  emerged  from  an investigation of cultural identity and learning in a virtual classroom, in which I examined web-based  student  communications  from  several  iterations  of  a  new  international  online undergraduate course. I present, here, some of this data, with a focus on ?ritual text acts? that participants  seem  to  perform.  I  draw  attention  to  the  ways  participants  not  only  ritually perform their affiliations with established national, ethnic or ?racial? groups through the use of stylized language, but also how they then ritually challenge these essentialized models of identity. In particular, I explore apparent ritual performances of new hybrid global identities, and moments of ritual resistance to expected learner identities or practices. I argue that that these  ritual  practices,  performed  in  text,  are  a  significant  strategy  that  virtual  learners employ in construction of authentic individual identities - a critical first step in development of a new learning community with a shared learning culture. Keywords Culture, ethnicity, identity, text act, ritual, virtual classroom, online classroom, online learning   Modes of authenticity in textual reality  In any newly established learning environment, diverse learners ? already inscribed with the rituals and customs of other communities to which they belong ? encounter each other. The idealized expectation is that they will engage intellectually with each other, with course materials and with their instructors, through  such  intellectual  performances  as  elaborating  arguments  or  criticizing  ideas.  This  kind  of intellectual  performance,  however,  presupposes  a  wealth  of  background  understanding:  shared assumptions, shared concepts, shared understanding of methods of argument. If learners do not arrive with a common cultural (and intellectual) heritage, they must negotiate or co-construct a new learning culture  in  which  the  ?rules  of  engagement?  are  understood  and  shared,  before  fruitful  intellectual engagement can begin.   Careful reflection on this idea reveals the intimate connection between individual learner identities and development  of  group  culture.  Newly  assembled  groups  of  learners  do  not  (necessarily)  comprise homogeneous  anonymous  beings  between  whom  communication  and  interaction  ?happens?.  Rather, they  are  a  heterogeneous  mixture  of  individuals  who  may  or  may  not  share  common  values, educational experiences, worldviews or perspectives. The processes of negotiating meaning, and co-construction of group culture demand that individuals reveal, share and negotiate differences. That is to say, for any learning community to develop, for the construction of a learning culture to begin, learners must first be able to enact their authentic and differing identities in the learning space.  Do learners face special challenges when they convene in a virtual learning environment? Cyberspace (and,  in  particular,  virtual  learning  environments),  remains  an  overwhelmingly  'discursive  and rhetorical  space'  (Nakamura,  2002,  p.  xiii);  it  is  primarily  a  'written  world'  (Feenberg,  1989), constructed from text. In the text-based communications of cyberspace, bodily markers of identity such as physical attributes and vocal accent, are often invisible and bodily participation in gesture and ritual is usually impossible. Zurawski (2000) has gone as far as to argue that the physical body is, in effect, 'banned from the Internet'. And yet, in interpersonal encounters, an individual?s authenticity ? a term  2 that in English connotes ?truth?, ?accuracy of (self)representation? and ?trustworthiness? ? is supposed to  be  guaranteed  by  physical  presence  (Feenberg,  1989)  and  the  evidence  of  the  senses.  Concerns therefore  persist  about  the  Internet  as  a  problematic  site  for  meaningful  learner  interaction  and negotiation of learning cultures that can support ?engaged collaborative discourse? - proposed to be the ideal form of discussion in a virtual learning environment (Xin & Feenberg, 2006).  Poster (2001) has asked:  Can there be a form of culture that is not bound to the surface of the globe, attaching human beings to its particular configurations with the weight of gravity, inscribing their bodies with its rituals and customs?? (p. 150)  To paraphrase Poster, I ask: Can there be learning cultures that do not depend for their existence on geographical  location  or  physical  presence?  If  so,  how  can  we  best  characterize  their  nature  and development?  I  will  argue  here  that  learners  in  text-based  virtual  learning  environments  begin  the process  of  co-constructing  a  virtual  learning  culture  by  performing  and  sharing  their  unique  virtual identities, and that one of the key strategies that individuals and newly forming virtual communities make use of in this process is ritual.   The role of ritual  Sociologist  Paul  Connerton  has  described  the  powerful  ?collectivizing?  role  of  ritual  in  human societies. On the role of ritual in construction of ?collective memory? ? the communal narrative of a group ? he writes:  Both ritual and myth may quite properly be viewed as collective symbolic texts; and on this basis one may then go on to suggest that ritual actions should be interpreted as exemplifying?cultural values (1989, p. 53)  As with most sociological theory, there is much disagreement about the exact definition of ?ritual? - these have been thoroughly reviewed by Bell (1992). For our purposes here, however, it is useful to consider the definition proposed by Lukes, who suggests that a ritual is a 'rule-governed activity of a symbolic character which draws the attention of its participants to objects of thought and feeling that they hold to be of special significance' (1975, p. 291). Rituals, clarifies Connerton (1989) are repetitive and often stylized; they are expressive rather than instrumental, and they are expressive 'by virtue of their conspicuous regularity' (p. 44). Most significant here is Connerton?s argument that the expressive influence of ritual is not limited to the ritual moment itself  ? rather, the expressive power  of ritual thoroughly permeates non-ritual action, 'the whole life of a community' (p.45). Importantly, although many  rituals  ?appear?  to  be  a  re-enactment  or  commemoration  of  the  past  ?'an  explicit  claim  to  be commemorating  continuity'  (p.45)  ?  Connerton  points  out  that  human  communities  routinely  invent new  rituals,  ceremonies  and  commemorations  in  the  ?rewriting?  (or  re-interpreting)  of  collective identity.   While  most  ritual  theorists  have  tended  to  focus  on  the  bodily  practices  of  rites  and  ceremonies, Connerton (1989) explores the ways in which language, too, can be performative and ritualistic. The  linguistic rituals of liturgy, for example, are not a 'verbal commentary on an action external to itself?. Rather,  liturgical  language  is  an  action  in  and  of  itself  (p.  57).  Oaths,  blessings,  curses,  recitations, songs,  stories,  poems  and  prayers  also  make  use  of  repeated  patterns  of  syntax,  vocabulary  and sequencing,  with  powerful  mnemonic  effect.  Similarly,  Austin?s  philosophy  of  language  (1962) explains  that  'performative  utterances'  possess  'illocutionary  force'  ?  they  do  not  simply  offer statements  about  the  world  that  can  be  characterized  as  true  or  false.    Instead,  ?speech  acts?  or ?illocutionary acts? do something instead of simply saying something: they fulfil a range of symbolic purposes, including representing the self and the nature of the self?s relationship with others.  In  other  words,  rituals  ?  corporeal  and/or  linguistic  ?  are  both  performative  and  creative.  They acknowledge  and  commemorate  existing  elements  of  shared  identity,  and  they  contribute  to  the construction of new forms, and new interpretations, of community and collective identity. They allow individuals  to  celebrate,  maintain  and  reinforce  existing  bonds,  and  they  are  routinely  employed  to create new social and interpersonal bonds.    3 Rituals performed in textual language might appear, then, to be a perfectly suited tool for navigating the tension that virtual learners experience between their need to represent their existing identities in a new learning context, and the need to collaborate with new peers in the construction and enlargement of the 'common ground' ? the learning culture ? that is necessary to permit advancement of the learning agenda.  Indeed, precedent already  exists to support the proposition that rituals are also practiced in virtual spaces. While theorists have historically understood ritual practice to be necessarily embodied, a newer cohort of investigators has begun to examine ritual practices in a range of online environments (see, for example, work of Gregor Ahn and team at the University of Heidelberg, Langer et al. (2006) have also usefully begun to describe the process of ?ritual transfer?: 'the  transfer  of  ritual  from  one  context  into  another  or  ?  more  generally  ?  a  change  of  the  context surrounding the ritual' (p.1).   Below, I begin to describe how online learners transfer rituals of symbolization and collectivization into  virtual  learning  environments,  transforming  practices  that  might  previously  have  taken  place through embodied action and sensory perception into explicit articulations in text. Learners participate in an evolving sequence of textual rituals that serve to expand their 'common ground' ? the collection of shared values and assumptions that are necessary for continuing dialogue and collective construction of meaning.  Investigating Textual Practices in Online Learning  The Virtual Learning Environment  In order to investigate in greater detail the strategies that online learners employ in a virtual learning environment to construct and sustain their individual identities, and to negotiate the emerging learning culture  with  peers,  I  examined  student  communications  within  a  web-based  interdisciplinary  online undergraduate  course  that  I  designed  and  collaboratively  developed  at  The  University  of  British Columbia (UBC), Canada. The course, Perspectives on Global Citizenship was envisioned as the first in  a  new  interdisciplinary  program  collaboratively  offered  by  UBC  and  partner  universities  in  New Zealand, Hong, Australia and England. It was purposefully designed to foster engaged collaborative discourse. Learning materials are explicit about the contested nature of ?global citizenship? (Roman, 2003), and make no definitive claim about its meaning. Topics (ranging from ethics to sustainability) within its purview are presented using the Blackboard Vista? course management system in twelve weekly  modules,  for  debate,  discussion  and  critical  analysis  in  actively  tutor-facilitated  group discussion forums. In spite of the rich interdisciplinary content, Perspectives on Global Citizenship is a prime example of the kind of 'discursive and rhetorical space' that Nakamura (2002, p. xiii) describes, with all learner interaction and communication mediated via asynchronous text. Key components of the course explicitly challenge students to consider questions of individual, national and cultural identity in relation to theories of global citizenship. And as described below, the student body in each cohort is extremely  diverse,  ensuring  that  no  students  can  assume  that  they  share  a  common  background  or approach to learning with peers. These elements make this course an especially rich source of text-based communication in which students are struggling to articulate and represent elements of identity and community.  The Learners  Perspectives on Global Citizenship launched in September 2005 with 42 students from UBC, Hong Kong University and the University of Melbourne. It has been offered every term since. At time of writing, 166 students had completed the course, including 33 (20%) from HKU, 21 (13%) from the University of Melbourne, and the remainder from UBC. Of the total, 53 (32%) were male, and 113 (68%) were female. In all cohorts, students have represented a diverse ethnic mix that is masked by simply considering university or ?national? affiliation. In addition to our Hong Kong Chinese students at  HKU,  19  UBC  or  Melbourne  students  characterized  themselves  as  first-  or  second-generation immigrants from Hong Kong or China. Other UBC and Melbourne students self-identified as first- or second- generation immigrants from Egypt, Singapore, the Philippines, the United States of America, South Africa, Iran, Korea, Poland, Thailand, Uruguay, Vietnam, Russia, Romania, Malaysia, Korea, India, Pakistan, Greece, and Singapore. Moreover, the roster included international students attending UBC  on  student  visas  from  the  USA,  Turkey,  Sri  Lanka,  Russia,  Korea,  Kenya,  Japan,  Indonesia, Colombia, Bermuda, the UK and Mainland China. Some students have noted religious affiliations that included Catholic or Protestant Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Baha?i and Judaism. Moreover, the course  4 has attracted students from a wide range of academic disciplines: we enrolled students from degree programs in Arts, Science, Engineering, Social Sciences, Resource Management, Law, Government, Business, Education, Nursing, Medicine, Dentistry and Architecture.  Methodology  To  investigate  processes  of  identity  development  and  group  culture  in  this  online  course,  I  used  a ?grounded theory? methodology (Strauss & Corbin, 1990) to examine student discussion messages (off-task  and  on-task)  and  (anonymous)  student  feedback  questionnaire  responses.  I  used  NVivo? qualitative analysis software to identify patterns and themes in the data that shed light on the ways in which  this  diverse  group  of  online  learners  attempt  to  construct  authentic  online  identities  for themselves  as  part  of  the  process  of  negotiating  the  culture  of  the  new  learning  space.  All  learner names have been changed.  Performing the self in text  Within  the  spectrum  of  existing  virtual  environments  that  support  human  interaction,  the  online classroom might be viewed as a relatively constrained venue for digital ?identity play? (that is to say, experimentation with different identities, which may be more or less authentic). With identity tied to institutional registration, payment of tuition fees, and (perhaps of greatest interest to students?) final grades, one might expect that attempts by learners to create ?fake? or deceptive identities will be rare. What kind of ?selves? might our students be constructing in our online classrooms, and how? In his 1992 work Oneself as Another, Paul Ricoeur offers an analysis of the self as divided in a way that reflects  the  material/virtual  dilemma  of  virtual  identity.  Usefully  for  our  purposes  here,  he differentiates between two distinct notions of identity: Idem-identity, which rests in the physical, and carries notions of ?sameness? and affiliation, and Ipse-identity, better characterized as ?selfhood? (that is, non-physical, and unrelated to group affiliation).   In the opening days of the course each term, students are invited to introduce themselves to each other in a ?Participants? Profiles? forum. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a course that is advertised as globally recruiting,  many  of  our  learners  initiate  their  self-introduction  process  by  directly  referencing  their affiliations with (identity with) established national, regional, ethnic or ?racial? groups. I am from Manitoba and grew up on the lake? I am Joan from Kenya Speaking as somebody from the group, I think Jewishness falls under a couple of categories.  Learners reiterate their group membership often, but also perform their affiliations through the use of language clues. One Canadian student adds a touch of humour by using the stylized Canadian ?eh? in a course-based discussion: Our diversity, in essense, is our identity, eh? A Hong Kong student meanwhile makes use of an ?insider? youth term for Hong Kong Chinese in discussion of localized practices: haha.. I read online that apparently, it's a 'Honger thing' to wear T-shirts with a bunch of English words that make no sense whatsoever.  Very  quickly,  however,  student  communications  fulfil  the  claim  (see,  for  example,  Ess,  2008)  that essentialized models of ?national? culture are insufficient markers of individual identity. Students begin to  challenge  their  utility  by  troubling  their  neat  borders,  or  engaging  in  performance  of  newly synthesized  identities.  Directly  querying  our  historic  conflation  of  inherited  (?racial?)  characteristics with ethnicity or identity, a Canadian student writes:  I like to think about Canada as place where you can't visually determine who is or isn't Canadian? Another Canadian student expresses his personal frustrations at the limitations of established national identities: I feel that I don't know enough about Hong Kong/Chinese culture.. and I seriously do not know enough about Canada to call myself a true Canadian. I'm proud of multiple identities (Canadian-Chinese), but it makes me feel frustrated a lot of times. Perhaps most amusing are the ways in which virtual learners perform their hybrid identities. In the following exchange, Candy, Jonathan and Yuzhu all present details of their ?official? identities as first  5 generation immigrant ?Chinese-Canadians? who have lived varying proportions of their lives in Hong Kong and Canada. These three sprinkle their ?serious? introductions with laughing references to that most quintessential marker of ?Canadianness?: hockey.  Candy writes: Hello!! My name is Candy. Yes, home of the junior hockey championship, right here in Vancouver. =) Jonathan, a rather serious schoolteacher, drafts a response that focuses on WTO riots in Hong Kong, but finished with: And by the way, Canada is GOLDEN! And Candy and Yuzhu follow up with: We rock!!~~~~ YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These learners are enacting their Canadianness not only by acknowledging the subject matter, but by claiming North American English slang as their own ? classic examples of the 'performative utterances' that Austin (1962) described.  These  latter  examples  seem  to  bear  out  Ricoeur?s  (1992)  argument  that  Idem-identity  ?  identity acquired by affiliation and performance of embodied ?sameness? fails to answer to the crucial question of identity, 'Who am I?' (Vessey, 2002). Instead, they support Hewling?s contention (2005) that culture is 'an ongoing iterative process', rather than a static set of assumed structures envisioned in essentialist perspectives  and  that  individual  identity  'is  an  active  process  of  meaning  making  and  contest  over definition' (Street, 1993, p. 25).  Textual Ipseity  Rituals of initiation  Patterns of text-as-speech that might be interpreted as ?ritual text acts? become more apparent when we explore the language our students use in construction of their Ipse-identity ? their individual selves. A surprising set of repeated performative utterances appear in the introductory phase of the course. Newly arrived online, and faced with the task of (re)building and (re)presenting a virtual identity to a new cohort of peers, each student, almost without fail, performs two sets of ritualized acts that seem to counterbalance  each  other:    a  performance  of  credentialling,  and  a  performance  of  humility  ? differentiation and new membership.  Students  seem  anxious  to  impress  upon  their  peers  or  instructors  the  degree  to  which  they  are ?qualified?  to  have  enrolled  in  a  course  about  ?Global  Citizenship?.  Although  it  quickly  becomes apparent through coursework that our theoretical approach to this topic does not equate it with world travel or cosmopolitanism, new arrivals repeatedly emphasize their international experience, perhaps even vying with each other: ?I was born and raised in one of (I think) the big multicultural capitals in the world...Toronto, Canada...a place where many ethnic groups live. I have lived in Vancouver, Toronto and Hong Kong, and have been to 4 of the 7 continents They quickly follow this up, however, with clarifications about their newness to online classrooms: ?don't know really know how to do this.. or how much to write.. so here goes This is my first online course as well and I?m trying to get used to it. Lastly, like many other fellow classmates, this is my first online course so i'm still experimenting with it. One is reminded of ritual genuflections towards an altar by worshippers entering a church. One by one these learners reveal themselves as ?new?, and make use of this shared newness as an early step in establishing community ?norms? or commonality.   As Xin & Feenberg (2006) note, online discussion (like face-to-face speech), 'combines many speech acts in each utterance' (p. 3). Unsurprisingly then, the sample student utterances shown here seem to simultaneously perform several functions, even while the actual content of each statement is relatively  6 unimportant: they highlight persistent individual identity versus ?group culture? tensions by seeking to both  differentiate  self  through  credentials  and  at  the  same  time  initiate  membership  in  the  group through  shared  experience  of  newness;  and  they  position  selves  as  ?experienced?  but  also  as ?inexperienced?, begging leniency from the group and from instructors.   Rituals of resistance  Perhaps the most vivid ritual performances of self in our virtual classroom take place where learners are at pains to resist or deny what they perceive as expected learner identity or practices.  Bryan,  an  experience  online  communicator  and  a  mature  adult  learner,  is  unable  (or  unwilling?)  to participate in the ritual of newness that younger students harness. Instead, he launches himself into a performative  resistance  of  this  norm  with  humour  and  gusto.  Before  even  initiating  his  online discussion postings, this learner made use of the very limited ?roster? tool in the Blackboard Vista? course  management  system  to  highlight  the  inadequate  vision  of  learner  identity  that  it  projects  or permits:    Figure 1. A Mature Learner Pokes Fun at BlackBoard Vista?s ?Fill in the Blanks? Roster Tool He  also  adds  a  photograph,  which  not  only  gives  clues  to  his  ethnic  origins  and  hobbies,  but  also clearly emphasizes his seniority relative to other students. In on-task and off-task discussion forums, Bryan repeatedly performs himself as ?in opposition?, describing himself as a 'troublemaker', an 'active experimenter', a 'devil?s advocate' with 'ulterior motives', an 'idealist' with grassroots affiliations, and a visionary with a 'master plan' whom we might perhaps want to 'isolate to his own group'. 'Let noone accuse me of being a realist' he adds, when challenged to explain how his ideas could be implemented. Indeed,  Bryan  seems  to  make  a  point  of  polite  but  pointed  ritual  verbal  duelling  with  all  three  co-instructors  in  this  course  whom  he  characterizes  as  'our  esteemed  professors'.  Bryan?s  unrelenting performance of self-in-resistance, his repeated positioning of himself as an experienced professional instructing  classmates  (rather  than  as  a  peer),  illustrates  the  extent  to  which  we  rely  on  our  inter-relations with others in the positioning of our selves. It appears that it is not sufficient for Bryan to ?know? these aspects of his own history and identity; rather, he seems compelled to repeatedly perform these aspects of himself within the virtual learning environment so that they can be acknowledged and reflected back to him by others.  In  his  hermeneutics  of  selfhood  (Ipse-identity),  Ricoeur  (1992)  describes  the  role  of  ?attestation? (belief)  of  truth  or  certainty  about  self.  Attestation  is  a  testimony,  a  form  of  self-witnessing  that  is performed through repeated (ritualized) speech acts by the individual self. It is, he argues, an assurance that  the  self  believes  in  the  truth  or  validity  of  being  oneself,  acting  and  suffering  (Vessey,  2002). Bryan?s ritual attestation, performed in text-as-speech, not only allows him to construct a dynamic and narrative self identity, it defines his self as the agent of this self-constructive act. His determination to perform his own self in opposition to existing models reminds one of Bell?s (1997) proposition that one of the many functions of ritual is to act as a means of 'struggling over control of the sign' (p.89).   7 Ritual performance of new community  In the active process of identity construction in the online classroom, online discussions are the 'nexus of  cultural  production'  (Reeder  et  al.,  2004)  and  the  visible  manifestation  of  individual  interactions between  learners  and  the  elements  that  make  up  the  online  context:  peers,  instructors,  delivery platform,  course  materials  and  institutional  culture  (Hewling,  2005).  Hewling  makes  use  of  Gee?s (2000) notions of 'enactive' and 'recognition' work in the construction of meaning. According to Gee, enactive work describes the efforts individuals make to organize contextual elements and accord them value  and  meaning,  while  recognition  work  describes  the  responses  of  others  who  may  agree  or disagree.  Within  the  context  of  this  online  course,  I  observe  students  enacting  a  range  of  ritual performances of ?new? and shared identities (proposing, for example, new choices and behaviours that they seek to integrate), and repeated rounds of recognition work as classmates query or reinforce these. For example, towards the end of the course, one student writes: ?as global citizens we can either be complicit or critical. By pointing the finger at ourselves (or at least Canadians in particular), we are no longer a passive audience in global issues but active participants. And a classmate responds, recognizing and acknowledging this identity claim: Who knows, we may even be able to become some sort of influential group...perhaps the first true 'Global Citizens'. Exemplifying the evolving sense of community, learners increasingly write about we, rather than I.  The implications for learning  It appears, then, that in this virtual learning environment, learners have transferred and transformed ?first  life?  rituals  of  identity  formation  and  community  building  into  forms  that  exemplify  (new) cultural values, as Connerton (1989) suggests.  Learners perform themselves through a range of ritual text-as-speech acts that do not simply describe pre-existing identity but also construct it. Transferring elements of real life rituals (for example the use of coded language) to the virtual space, they ritually restate details of their ethnic or national membership (or non-membership) in order to clarify or trouble the identity they possess through a range of other group affiliations, attesting their individual identities in relation to others. They participate in new rituals ? cycles of enaction and recognition of new shared identities for members of this learning community as they perform and renegotiate their virtual selves. Together, these practices help learners establish authentic virtual identities ? identities that they and others experience as true, trustworthy and accurate representations of the self. After all, as Connerton (1989)  illustrates,  rituals  are  not  merely  formalized  repetitions  performed  by  uninvolved  actors; participants in some sense feel them to be obligatory, and participation in a rite is always, in a sense 'an assent to its meaning' (p. 45).   Establishment of learner identities allows the development of a learning community. Learners in this course comment spontaneously and repeatedly on their surprise at the social and relational aspects of their course experience, and about the impact and value of their online encounters with international classmates: ?The involvement and interest from everyone. I thought that there was a risk with an online subject that people wouldn't give it much effort or thought because you can hide behind a computer screen, but in reality the involvement level is probably better than in most of the 'real' classes I have been in. Importantly,  learner  comments  demonstrate  that  this  virtual  learning  community  had  developed  a learning  culture  in  which  they  felt  able  to  take  risks  and  make  mistakes,  or  express  dissent.  They indicate that course discussions facilitated the development of trust, solidarity, security and empathy that a range of learning theorists insist is necessary for trying on another point of view. Initially I was very hesitant in everything I wrote, I didn't want to sound like I didn't know what I was talking about. But, I have started to realize that isn't so bad, as this is a course, and I?m supposed to be learning. In conclusion, while Xin & Feenberg (2006) have identified four layers of important communicative interaction  in  online  discussion  (intellectual  engagement,  communication  and  common  ground, dialogue and motivation, and group dynamics and leadership), I suggest that there is a fifth layer that underpins all of these: the layer of utterances that construct individual identities and thus permit the establishment of a new learning community with a shared learning culture.  8 References  Austin, J. L. (1962). How to do Things with Words: The William James Lectures Delivered at Harvard University in 1955 (J. O. Urmson, Ed.). Oxford: Clarendon. Bell, C. (1992). Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice. New York: Oxford University Press. Bell, C. (1997). Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions. New York: Oxford University Press. Connerton, P. (1989). How Societies Remember. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ess, C. (2008). 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