Re-fusing form in genre study

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Current theories of genre based in action neglect form. While recognizing that genre study needed to reject earlier formalism, this chapter argues that genre necessarily encompasses form as part of the fusion of form, substance, and action and should be re-examined as contextualized form. Neither Carolyn Miller nor Mikhail Bakhtin, seminal genre theorists, rejected form but rather rejected formalism. Form in this chapter is defined as the visible results and notable absences of language-use in generic contexts, A contextualized treatment of generic form embeds form into its individual, social, and cultural contexts; recognizes generic form as variable individually, synchronically, and diachronically; balances treatment of generic forms as both unique and shared; and views generic forms as inter-genre-al, interacting with other genres.


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