Unearthing the unspeakable

Scott (1991) points out that institutions function at multiple levels, arranged in part by the power relations within a setting; dissonance is often apparent between what Scott terms the public and hidden transcripts of an institution. “The public transcript is, to put it crudely, the self-portrait of dominant elites as they would have themselves seen…. It is designed to be impressive . . . and to conceal or euphemize the dirty linen of their rule” (Scott, 1991, p. 18). The hidden transcript challenges the institution’s public discourse and administrative overlay on “reality”; it refers to discourse “that takes place `offstage,’ beyond direct observation by powerholders” (pp. 4-5) that contradicts what appears in the public transcript.

Unearthing the unspeakable: When teacher research and political agendas collide
Kathryn Herr. Language Arts. Urbana: Sep 1999. Vol. 77, Iss. 1; pg. 10, 6 pgs

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