The Rhetorical Legacies of Affirmative Action: Bootstrap Genres from College Admissions through First-Year Composition
AuthorLewis, Rachel Devorah
AdvisorMiller, Thomas P.
Committee ChairMiller, Thomas P.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis project traces the ways universities articulate a desire for diversity through the gateway genres of college admissions, composition course placement, and first-year-composition (FYC). Together, these genres serve as points of access for a theoretical study that seeks to better understand the ideological function of writing programs to socialize borderline college applicants into the rhetorically constructed role of a Diverse College Student. I focus on what I call bootstraps genres--reoccurring rhetorical situations that call for students to recount social hardships like racism and classism as personal hardships to be overcome through personal heroics. Despite being immersed in rhetorics of individualism, the college application essay, the directed self-placement guide, and the literacy narrative all call for the mimetic construction of disadvantage as an appeal to college-readiness. As new college students move through the initiation rituals of admissions, orientation, and FYC, they are presented with rhetorical tasks that are both raced and classed. Bootstraps genres ask students to first read the university's desire for diversity and then fulfill that desire through personal stories of difference and disadvantage.
Degree ProgramRhetoric, Composition & the Teaching of English