Construing Stance in History Theses: Dynamic Interactions among Ideology, Generic Structure and Engagement

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Copyright: Sawaki, Tomoko
This thesis examines introductory chapters of recent history theses, in order to identify generic structure, engagement strategies, and to explore the extent of the role engagement strategies play in relation to the construction of text. In order to resolve analytical issues in the Swalean method, a new method is proposed, which integrates the Greimassian method, a semiotically oriented structuralist method of reducing elements to the minimum function. By doing so, this thesis demonstrates that emerging elements such as postmodern personal anecdotes can be effectively incorporated into this minimized generic structure model, providing a practical methodology for future generic structure analyses. Quantitative and qualitative investigations are pursued in order to compare the generic structures of thesis introductory chapters of different ideological orientations. The results are statistically tested with correspondence analysis so as to visually identify the correlation between generic structure components and ideological orientation. The analysis of engagement strategies is also conducted quantitatively and qualitatively to compare the distribution of different dialogic elements according to ideological orientation. The engagement analysis further investigates the distribution of dialogic elements across generic structure components, which investigates if and how engagement strategies realise larger textual resources, namely, the interaction between engagement strategies and generic structures. This thesis finds that traditional and postmodern theses vary significantly in the way they create dialogic spaces and that engagement strategies vary across generic structure components. This thesis concludes that a minimized binary generic structure model is useful in analyzing increasingly diversified thesis writing. It also concludes that dialogic elements play a crucial role in constructing text, enabled by dynamic interaction with ideology and textual resources. This thesis finds a large extent of variation within a discipline and proposes that developing negotiation strategies to successfully persuade members of different ideological orientations within a discipline may be crucial in pedagogic settings.
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Sawaki, Tomoko
Ravelli, Louise
Starfield, Sue
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PhD Doctorate
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