"In Universities, the Religious People Keep Their Mouths Shut": Solving an Interdiscursive Problem in Higher Education Literacy Practices

  • Paul Vincent Smith University of Manchester
Keywords: religion, ethnomethodology, FOUCAULT, higher education, academic literacies, WINCH

Abstract

Religious faith, despite being a protected characteristic under UK law, is under-studied in higher education. In this article, I answer the call for studies that demonstrate the difference that religious adherence can make to the student experience of higher education instruction and assessment. In my qualitative study, I used ideas from ethnomethodology, FOUCAULT's archaeological work, academic literacies, and the Wittgensteinian perspective of WINCH to characterise the meeting of religious faith and sociological constructionism as a discursive problem occasioned by a born-again Christian student. I show how this discursive problem was described after it had been solved, pragmatically if not academically, in the student's writing. The solution comprised an interdiscursive technique of presenting faith-inspired ideas without pressing them into the service of an argument structure. My analysis of materials demonstrates a series of considerations that would not be relevant to non-religious students.

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Author Biography

Paul Vincent Smith, University of Manchester

Paul Vincent SMITH is a lecturer in education at the Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester. His research interests include academic writing, the student experience, and all aspects of higher education practice and policy. His methodological interests include qualitative research, in particular forms of ethnography and textual analysis.

Published
2022-09-30
How to Cite
Smith, P. V. (2022). "In Universities, the Religious People Keep Their Mouths Shut": Solving an Interdiscursive Problem in Higher Education Literacy Practices. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 23(3). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-23.3.3891
Section
Single Contributions