Consequences of the Inward Turn

In Part 3, the final part of his book, Lazere unpacked the limitations of composition’s inward turn. Most significantly, in chapter 10 (“Why Does All This Still Matter?”) he defined the terms “restricted code” (RC) and “elaborated code” (EC) and situated students into either camp based on their discourse and rhetorical practices. Both terms in their own right shape a student’s discourse conventions; however, he argued that the extensive use of one over the other (particularly a reliance on RC over EC) can limit a student’s cognitive development concerning critical thought and understanding. With Students’ Right to Their Own Language focusing more on the reflection of a native discourse and dialects rather than the analysis of outside texts, Lazere argued that student writers don’t have the opportunity to transition from their local RC to a more culturally integrated EC.

In his final chapters (12–13), Lazere argued that this lack of requirement to analyze the rhetorical patterns of other individuals and groups makes students more susceptible to the manipulative messages of the mass media, messages that reflect larger corporate interests rather than those of the everyday individual.