Composing Citizens: Epistemic Work in the Interstices of Comprehensive-Planning Genres
As cities like “Portstown” comply with statutory mandates to involve citizens in the drafting of their comprehensive plans, community-literacy workers should pay careful attention to the reading and writing opportunities that emerge. This case-study examines how Portstown planners surveyed citizens’ experience of their city and illustrates how citizens translated and resisted the assumptions that infused the survey. I argue that in our efforts to understand the coercive properties of institutional documents, we must not efface the epistemic qualities of the work of composition. Recognizing these qualities, I conclude, means seeing more opportunities to intervene strategically in the development and reception of “public” writing opportunities.
Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.