Rhetorical Analysis

Rhetorical (Hopefully?) Analysis

            As humans we always strive to feel a connection with other beings and a mutual understanding of a topic with the others in whatever situation we may be in. For example, if one were sitting in a chemistry class listening to a lecture, one would hope to understand the material being taught. And is that person does not understand, then they look to see if others are confused as well to find comfort in the way they are thinking. So being that humans have a natural tendency to want to belong to a certain type of group by identifying with the people in that group, people have developed three main steps that are important in successfully becoming part of a community.

“Within and Beyond Communities of Practice” is just that article, where Karen Handley, Andrew Sturdy, Robin Fincham and Timothy Clark conveniently and cleanly list out these steps: participation, identity, and practice.

Participation means to actively engage oneself in the learning environment. To bluntly put it, it would be how much one would speak out and engage in class. Participation is considered one of the main three steps because one of the best ways to join a community is to actively engage in it.

Identity means to take what is learned in a community and find yourself within the knowledge you obtained. Ask yourself, “How does this apply to me?” or “Where do I see this in my everyday life?” Once one inserts their self into what they learned, it makes the knowledge acquired much for useful and applicable, therefore making the community more involved in the persons life, rather than the person just being involved in the community.

Practice means to repeat what was learned. This is done in hopes that practicing makes one become a master of understanding a certain topic. Although becoming a master at understanding any subject is almost unobtainable, it is more of the concept of growth in an area reach for, but the idea of becoming a master at it serves as a concrete dream to work towards.

The article then starts to reach beyond the three main steps to successfully become a part of a community and start to build on the concept of “now that we are successfully immersed in multiple communities, problems are arising”. This is to say that when one is in different communities, they can often conflict and create problems for the communities themselves. Multiple ideas on this concept were brought up, and here is where I would like to interject. I agree mostly with Much’s idea that we can successfully belong to multiple communities and apply/transfer knowledge obtained in one community to another. I think that this approach is productive and teaches an important lesson that all disciplines or “communities” in this case, can and do affect one another. Batialle, a French philosopher ands scholar, writes much about how the science field tends to look down upon religious communities because it is a belief that the two disciplines conflict with one another. But actually, as stated in William Pawlett’s interpretation of Bataille’s ideas in Georges Bataille: The Sacred Society, if you look at it, science should pay homage to religion for the reason that, “Science imposes a hierarchy of values within itself at the summit (naturally) and with all that it cannot assimilate denigrated as ‘myth’ or as ‘religion’. Yet ‘myth’ and ‘religion’ are the ways in which human beings have explored crime, taboo, transgression, disorder, horror, death and ecstatic dissolution” (8).

To wrap up what was stated in “Within and Beyond Communities of Practice” I believe that this is a decently crafted essay for those in the young adult/ student demographic. I think that much of the information provided is very applicable and probably already is in many people’s lives. But I do think that being part of a community is not so simplistically laid out like it is here, and I don’t think being part of multiple is as complicated as it is shown. To be part of a community, I believe it requires different amount of effort from everyone, but I do think that the three major factors are a good generalization of how to do so. To be part of many communities is a wonderful thing and should be embarrassed with more enthusiasm rather than condemn by some. That being said, the authors did tie in different opinion’s of others making it an article that is much more credible and realistic in its intent.









Handley, Karen, Andrew Sturdy, Robin Fincham, and Timothy Clark. “Within and Beyond Communities of Practice: Making Sense of Learning Through Participation, Identity and Practice*.” Journal of Management Studies 43.3 (2006): 1-13. Web.


Pawlett, William. Georges Bataille: The Sacred and Society. New York: Routledge, 2016. Print.