Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Alive Inside: Transformation, Capital, and Zombies in the Composition Classroom
by Woods, Lori Ann S., Ph.D., Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2020, 433; 28154110
Abstract (Summary)

This narrative inquiry studied whether incorporating an element of popular culture, specifically the zombie apocalypse, in the Basic Writing course during an EOP Summer Bridge Program increased student writing and developed students’ academic socialization, thereby teaching them cultural capital. The study took place during a three-week summer bridge program that served incoming EOP freshmen. The course curriculum included an analogy that compared entering college to the zombie apocalypse as a way to show students that there are strategies and campus resources that they must learn about so that they can persist in college and improve their college writing. Through the theoretical lens of Bourdieu’s concept of cultural capital, this study determines if the participants developed their habitus and positioned themselves to be successful in academia and in their composition class.

The results show evidence that adding elements of popular culture to a Basic Writing course helps students improve their writing and begin to develop their academic socialization. Furthermore, the students had a high level of engagement in the course and they believed that it helped prepare them for college and college writing. The students’ sense of accomplishment and improvement in their writing helped them to identify as heroic survivors in college and in their composition course. However, the students have to utilize the strategies and skills they learned in order to further develop their habitus and positions themselves for success in academia.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pagnucci, Gian S.
Commitee: Driscoll, Dana Lynn, Moore, R. Scott
School: Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 82/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher education, Rhetoric, Creative writing, Educational administration, Educational leadership, Curriculum development
Keywords: Bourdieu, Composition, Cultural capital, Educational opportunity program, Popular culture, Zombies, Basic Writing courses, Academic socialization, Heroic survivors
Publication Number: 28154110
ISBN: 9798698576686
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