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Souza 1 Breanne Souza Professor Flynn ENC 1101.4 1 December 2010 The Claims and Processes Upholding My Future.

Throughout ones life, a person both participates in dominant and non-dominant discourses. To become a part of a discourse and to become fluent , one encounters apprencticeship. Many are unaware but you are born into a discourse community when you are born. All of the discourses we encounter and the way Gee states discourses contradict with the American Dream. The American Dream is living a great life successfully and prospering as years go on. With the American Dream a person lives freely, and works for their goals and have their own way of life and ideas. This dream lets us become what we wish to become. Gee states though, that discourses are ways of being in the world(Gee 587). Everyone belongs within discourses and you are either in them or your not, and when in them you have to do the specified ways of the discourse. Through personal experiences and future dreams, one can see that discourses are an every day form of life and each person goes through life learning new ways and becoming apprentices to new ideas. As a young child, I grew up being in numerous non-dominant discourses. School puts many children in opportunities for cliques and different social statuses that are considered non-dominant discourses. According to Gee Non-dominant Discourses are secondary Discourses the mastery of which often brings solidarity with a particular social network, but not wider status and social goods in the society at large(Gee 593). With

Souza 2 this group you receive opportunities to grow within, and have popularity within the group, but unlike a Dominant discourse where your status increases beyond the group. Many of us look to someone dominant as someone who is in control and can influence us tremendously. Therefore, a dominant discourse is a discourse in power or an in charge, which brings money, wealth, and high status. Dominant discourses let you have an opportunity for success out of your discourse community, and you can obtain rewards and success through this. Gees claims on dominant discourses proved to me that in fact, dominant discourses do occur in ones life. Many look at dominant discourses as being President of the United States or a head of a big company, but little do they know, they encounter them as well. An example of when I was in a dominant discourse is when I was in a group that mentored for younger students. We, as a dominant discourse, had meetings and apprenticeships to learn how to properly mentor the younger children, and effectively get across to them. As a tutor, we were dominant in the childrens life and received either money or community service hours for doing this program. Inside the group you had chances to become a head of the council or even be in charge of scheduling events. Therefore, not only was I receiving status and becoming a better mentor within the group, I was also receiving wealth and power in a broader sense. With this discourse, I made the rules and was the one in charge. Without knowing the proper tools and ways to teach the children, my success would not have been possible to achieve. In our life we have primary and secondary discourses. Our primary discourse is the discourse we were born into and how we were brought up and how we interact with others based off of what we know. My primary discourse would be different then Native

Souza 3 Americans, because I am Caucasian and brought up in a different culture and have different ways of living. A secondary discourse is our non-home based social interactions. This can be like youth groups or schools. This is how dominant and nondominant are made up of, into our secondary discourses. With these discourses we can access apprenticeship or even given the chance to be a mush fake. I have seen people try and mush fake their way into discourses and try and be a part of the discourse for sometime like they have already been through apprenticeship. Apprenticeship is key in learning a new skill and being a part of discourse, because you learnt it and become a master of the discourse. If one is trying to live their American Dream, then mush faking something is not an option and can hold them back from their goals. With all of these discourses, we are given literacy, which in Gees terms, is the mastery of or fluent control over a secondary discourse(Gee 594). Everyone in life has the opportunities to become what or she wants to, fulfill their American Dream, but within this dream they occupy themselves in these discourses, which requires them to be given literacy, apprenticeships and may even try mush faking things on their journey. In my future, I have many dreams and goals set for myself. Within these goals though, changes will occur and I will fall into numerous discourses. I might have a discourse at my career, or a discourse with a particular friend group. Nonetheless, I will be able to accomplish my goals and fulfill them even with these discourses. Some discourses may be considered boundaries or hindrances, but if you stay attuned to what you are accomplishing you will make sure you do not fall into the unnecessary discourses. With pretending and mush faking, one cannot achieve their goals because they are not fully committed to what they are accomplishing and only pretending to be

Souza 4 what they wish to be. Gees statements of discourses and the American Dream do not connect, because he states that the American dream you follow your own set of rules and goals, but everyone is intertwined with discourses and within those there are rules and limitations. Therefore, one may have their own dreams and goals but not a set American Dream. I believe as Gee that everyone is born into a discourse when born, and if we acknowledge and have better understanding about discourses we may be involved in later on , our dreams and goals can be more reachable.