Publication details [#11396]

Winkelmann, Carol L. 1991. Social acts and social systems: Community as metaphor. Linguistics and Education 3 (1) : 1–29. 29 pp.


The community metaphor currently dominates much of the thinking in educational theory and pedagogy, especially in the field of composition and rhetoric. This study critiques the community metaphor through a tripartite analysis of student- and teacher-generated metaphors. Two textual levels of metaphors-in-use are considered: grammatical-semantic metaphors and lexical metaphors. A functional linguistic analysis demonstrates the thoroughly heteroglossic nature of language in classroom talk and text. This article contends it would be more useful for teachers to proceed from a collectivity metaphor as a way to capture the dynamic nature of language-in-use. Subsequently, both students and teachers can be more attentive to the ways in which they define themselves, through metaphor, as a group-in-process. (Carol L. Winkelmann)