Discourse The definition of discourse and discourse community is a widely debated topic especially among scholars such as John Swales, James Paul Gee and Joseph Harris. Although they may share some of the same concepts, their opinions vary greatly. Swales had a set opinion that discourses were greatly impacted by your social life (475-478). Gee stated that he believed there was a difference between language and grammar (483), and Harris believes in intellectuality and says that anything we write as already been written somewhere else in the world (583).
The main belief they share is that learning a discourse is a powerful and essential factor in your life. Discourse communities are a significant part of our lives because that is how we meet our friends, figure out what we enjoy the most in life and actually what kind of person we are and where we belong in the world. The three scholars I mentioned earlier have strong opinions on their beliefs about the meaning of discourse and courses communities in general, but the importance of learning them is something everybody can agree on.
As soon as you are able to learn basic language and words as a baby, you become part of a discourse community and as you grow into an adult, you are constantly gaining an important role in them. Although Gee agrees on the significance of discourse and being a part of a discourse community he somewhat disagrees about being in multiple discourses at once. He mainly focused on the psychological and sociological viewpoints of a discourse.
Socially he believed that “it’s not Just what you say, but how you say it” (483). At one point Gee stated, “Language is a misleading term; it too often suggests ‘grammar” (483) which would imply that Just because you use the correct grammar doesn’t mean the way you are saying something is “correct” for the setting you are in. You must be aware that language goes far beyond Just basic grammar.