A further discussion of adult literacies.
This argument - that there is nothing wrong with cut and paste- pressupposes that the sources are acknowledged, to do less being academic theft.
The university I work at has recently started using turnitin,software to detecct plagiarism. Having used it and discovered that a few, maybe 1-2%, have aproblem in writing there own thoughts, I'm prompted to consider whats wrong with a cut and paste culture and just maybe there is nothing wrong with it.
Clearly delineates what is not the students own work
The disadvantages: the risk is that no knew thinking is generated- or at least that there is no evidence of new thinking generated- so maybe the task of academics becomes a little harder- how do we know what a student learns if they dont put it out there.
A further tangent to consider is that maybe its the way of our future? The use of cut and paste is so easy, there's an accuracy that cant be denied in using the authors own words, a bricolage or tapestry- stream of multiple persons consciousness on a theme.
The adult literacies of a future could be establishing the knowledge base (just like a lit review does) And then be followed by the authors own discussion.
In reading danah boyd, on social networking, she makes a link to
Copy and Paste Literacy? Literacy Practices in the Production of a MySpace Profile.]
In this article by Perkel, the making of identity within a social network (myspace) is discussed, the cutting and pasting of othereness creating an identifiable self.
Its a fascinating article.
The concept of otherness in creating self can be taken further. With a little tweaking informed by ANT, this could be described as being 'othertaken'.
In Latour's, Reassembling the social, he identifies how assemblages construct parts of a social world, and taking this further, identifies that actors are also subject to being constructed- being overtaken or 'other-taken'.
"When we act, who else is acting?"
In academia who else is acting includes the actors that are policy, historiacl conventions on conformity. The use of software, turnitin, becomes another actor, a sort of silent policeperson, that does a job. There are also the less overt actors, myspace may have an effect on the construction of self and the construction of social conventions, and potentially even on academic conventions. Maybe there are other ways to write and to think and to contribute new knowledge.
Just a provocation, but I am interested in what readers think.
The 'machine is us/ing us' and its worth considering the effects.