Pare's "Genre and Identity: Individuals, Institutions, and Ideology"

Pare, Anthony. "Genre and Identity: Individuals, Institutions, and Ideology." The Rhetoric and Ideology of Genre, edited by Richard Coe, Lorelei Lingard, and Tatiana Teslenko, Hampton Press, 2002, pp. 57-71.

Pare discusses that genres are ideological in that they embody attitudes and get taken for granted as "the way things are done" (59). Pare suggested examining genres' relation to ideology by seeing them as sites of resistance for different communities, whose attitudes become more apparent in relation to an expected genre (61).

Pare uses the example of Inuit social workers, whose cultural values were at odds with the genre expectations of their records (62).  These social workers found the expected descriptions too reductive of their clients, and would have preferred to put less detail, giving their clients a different narrative than that of "failure" and avoiding "exposing their clients . . . to white authorities" (63).

In another example, Pare describes the rhetorical move of narrative distancing that social workers are expected to use in their records, e.g., avoiding using the first person in order to sound more authoritative and objective (64). This is "defensive" in that their records can be used as arguments advocating for their clients in a hospital or a court of law (65). As social workers learn the genre, and learn to "play the linguistic market," they may take on the role of an observer rather than an active participant in constructing their own identity (69).

Rhetoric, GenreKatie Ancheta