Characteristics of genre are the foundation

Originally when asked what “genre” was I thought it was a simple thing to define. To me it was a category that met a certain criteria for describing music and writing or movies. After reading the article by Dean’s “Genre Theory”, I realized that there was more to the word. The article breaks down genre into having characteristics and similarities between each other. The characteristics of genre are the foundation of understanding genre in different contexts.

The article opens with “Genre Theory” Explanations.

“The vises of genre theory that help it address instructional challenges underscore the new way genre is being defined.” As I read the intro it made me form a question “What does it mean for writing to be socially constructed?” but I did grasp Millers theory that a genre is used to accomplish action rather than the form a genre takes or the situation that it a rises.
I read that genres can be rhetorical, meaning that someone can choose from many choices in order to fulfill their needs based on each situation. Similar to asking someone a rhetorical question, that person can think about all of the options and try to find the best fit. Initially I didn’t understand but a classmate compared it to a rhetorical question and it helped me better piece the concept.

“Genres pervade lives. People use them, consciously and unconsciously, Creatively and formulaically, for social functions and individual purposes, With critical awareness and blind immersion, in the past and yet today. They shape our experiences and our experiences shape them.”

This I understood of course it was new to me but I got it. I had to Google both pervade (spread through and be perceived in every part of) and formulaically (containing a verbal  formula or set form of words; followed rule or style)

The concept that genres are dynamic is fairly easy to grasp. “Their ability to be flexible also contributes to their dynamic nature: because genres can adapt, they also change.”  Also, their ability of genres to respond to and affect situation is part of what makes them dynamic.

Flexibility and Stability: Genres are actions “recognize mothers day card due to things that are stable, you know its not a flyer for a fish fry” Each card can differ though due to pop ups, music, etc

“Because genres don’t exist in a vacuum, our response to a situation can be guided by past responses.” Helped me better understand the historical context of genre.

Things I didn’t understand:

-The situated characteristic. It operates under the “micro level” of context and that “Such a context differs slightly from traditional views of the rhetorical situation.”

-How do genres help people make sense of shared personal experiences?


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