Subculture and Discourse

Your task is to choose a subculture and write about it as a community, describing ithe shared experience of members of the group, its unique or specialized language (also known as jargon—language specific to a particular group), what it values or is working toward as a collective goal, and so on.  Ideally, you will write about a subculture or counterculture you belong to. Think about hobbies or passions you have as a starting place. If you cannot think of one, you can research a subculture and write about that, though this will be less desirable. Note that I will actively looking for plagiarism here, so if you do decide to research, be sure your resources are 1) academic, and 2) impeccably cited according MLA  rules. No research (or citations) are needed if you are drawing upon your own experience. An example:  I have been a bellydancer for about ten years. If I were writing this paper about that subculture, I would write about the different styles of bellydance, the structure of bellydance classes and troupe practices, the many dance-specific terms I’ve had to learn, and how bellydancers interact at performances or large conventions. That alone would make for a lengty and detailed paper. Format to consider: You can write a straight-up narrative essay, but I encourage you to think about a creative, hybrid  approach to this assignment. You could incorporate poetry, fictional interludes, visual art, photgraphs, etc., if that suits your topic. I’m open to a variety of approaches, but since this is a writing class, it needs to have a significant amount of writing in it equal to the length below. Things to stay away from:  Please note that paper should NOT be an overview of your life, Stay focused on the group’s structure, not on yourself. Also, no “ I learned so much” or “I grew as a person” or “this group influenced my character” writing.  Finally, you may not write about your family. Why? It’s both an obvious, sort of lazy topic choice, as well as being fairly difficult to write about with clarity. You can write about your ethnic heritage, or being a military spouse/child, but the focus needs to be on what it’s like to grow up on a military base or what it’s like to have relatives in another country, rather than an extended discussion of your family members. Again, the focus is on the subculture—what would another person who is a part of it relate to? What would be informative to someone who is unfamiliar with it? Length: right around 2000 words; less than 1900 will lead to grade deductions for length

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