LCT and systemic functional linguistics: enacting complementary theories for explanatory power



Publication Details

Maton, K., Martin, J. R. & Matruglio, E. (2016). LCT and systemic functional linguistics: enacting complementary theories for explanatory power. In K. Maton, S. Hood & S. Shay (Eds.), Knowledge-building: Educational studies in Legitimation Code Theory (pp. 93-113). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.


Interdisciplinarity is the future. Such is the thrust of pronouncements repeatedly heard across the social sciences and humanities. Interdisciplinarity is often equated with intellectually and socially progressive stances and greater responsiveness to business and workplace needs. Yet such axiological and economic benefits are more often assumed or proclaimed than evidenced or demonstrated (Moore 2011). Moreover,what is declared to be 'interdisciplinary' often comprises the appropriation by literary or philosophical discourses of ideas from other fields rather than genuinely interdisciplinary dialogue. Nonetheless,to highlight the vacuity of much written in its name is not to dismiss the potential of interdisciplinarity itself. There are serious ontological and epistemological arguments for bringing disciplines together in substantive research (Bhaskar and Danermark 2006). Simply put,the social world comprises more than the phenomena addressed by any one discipline. Education, for example,involves at least knowledges, knowers, knowing, and the known, implicating insights from, among others,sociology,linguistics,psychology,and philosophy (Maton 2014b: 212-13). This is not to suggest a single study must encompass the disciplinary map in order to recreate reality in its entirety, Rather,it highlights that drawing on more than one disciplinary approach may offer greater explanatory power when exploring a specific problem-situation.

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