Source, Close to Home

Guerra, Close to Home

How people position or represent themselves in rhetorical or discursive terms varies, not only with a group’s language and culture, but also with the subject matter, the age, the gender, the status of speakers and members of their intended audience, and the genre in which they are operating. (70)


“Orality and literacy are interpreted by members as rhetorical practices involving the representation of self and culture in conventional and inventive terms” (61).


Literacy as practice metaphor applied to rhetoric and its function in everyday lives of people using it to get things done. For Guerra, members of communities participate in discourses and “engage in rhetorical practices that will help them fulfill a specific set of aims by engaging in certain actions within the ‘structures of association’ operating in their discourse community. (61)

“Individuals use oral and written language as sets of “linguistic and rhetorical practices that they have developed in the course of responding to a wide array of specific communicative needs” (41).


“their primary goal is to represent the relationship between the self as they identify it [. . .] and the shifting culture by which that “self” or “I” is partly formulated and in which it is rhetorically situated” (63).


[. . .] understanding of what language and literacy mean as social and cultural phenomena, rather than narrowly linguistic ones, and of how they are acquired and practiced by members of a particular ethnic minority group in the United States.



Pattern of migration: as with Smith, and Guerra, Mexican male immigrants arrived to work imagined as temporary, but as migrations restrictions tightened, they settled in different pockets around the city and surrounding counties.

Guerra’s research builds rhetorical terms for self-representation, as Mexicanos practice strategies for enacting culture “in discursive terms” (10). He locates these language and literacy strategies in oral and written genres” (10). He argues for a new metaphor for conceptualizing orality and literacy as rhetorical practices (11).


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