Publication details [#1107]

Chrisomalis, Stephen. 2013. Greatness in the Math Corps family: Integrating ethnographic, corpus, and cognitive approaches to a cultural model. Language & Communication 33 : 155–166. 12 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Amsterdam: Elsevier


This paper investigates the concept of greatness as manifested in the so-called Math Corps, a mathematics enrichment program targeted at African American students in Detroit, Michigan. The study implements a mixed (ethnographic and discourse analytic) methodology, comprising participant observation and interviews with both students and staff. The findings of the study point to eight interrelated conceptual relationships about greatness, also manifested in gestural and graphic modalities, which differ systematically from the understanding of greatness attested in contemporary and historical American English corpora. Such a cultural model forms a framework that affords particular conceptualizations of success and achievement, thus guiding students’ decisions and actions, especially in a challenging educational context like the one studied here.