Skip to main content

The Silent Social Order of the Theory Classroom

Buy Article:

$53.17 plus tax (Refund Policy)


I offer an ethnographic analysis of two “theory” classes in an elite American literary studies program. First, I examine the classroom's bureaucratic form, as it is structured by power, time and space, and made visible in syllabi and attempted pedagogical reforms. I then turn to pedagogical practice, examining the forms of knowledge and power implicit in classroom discourse. I show that ideological stances toward theory vary according to individual status in the theoretical field. I consider the epistemic fetishism of the “text” within classroom knowledge-making practices. Finally, I draw out some implications of my analysis for reflexive academic research, with particular attention to Bourdieu's reflexive social science.

Keywords: Classroom Ethnography; Literary Theory; Reflexivity; Social Life of Post-Structuralism; Sociology of Knowledge

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2008

More about this publication?

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more