The CARS Model and Binary Opposition Structure

  • Tomoko Sawaki School of the Arts and Media, University of New South Wales,


This paper proposes solutions for a number of difficulties that Swalean generic structure analysis has been experiencing concerning the identification methods it applies to generic structure components. It does this by integrating the Greimassian method, a structuralist method of reducing elements to the minimal units of signification. In making this proposal, it points out that the underlying goal of Swalean genre analysis, which aims to classify various academic elements that differ in their degree of prototypicality into an umbrella of family resemblance, can be considered analogous to the structuralist goal of reducing elements to the minimal units despite the different theoretical groundings of these two approaches. It demonstrates the compatibility of these approaches by reducing some of the components of the Creating A Research Space (CARS) model; namely, it reduces Move 1 and Move 2 into one unit. Additional emerging elements that are similarly complex in academic writing, such as postmodern personal anecdotes, can also be sorted out into this unit. It concludes that methods in semiotics may offer useful frameworks for the applied disciplines where signification processes need to be revealed in analysis.

Author Biography

Tomoko Sawaki, School of the Arts and Media, University of New South Wales,
Tomoko Sawaki received her PhD in English Linguistics from University of New South Wales.