Unvoicing a field's expertise: A two-pronged citation and language analysis




Suh, Emily
Wu, Na
Garcia, Agustin
Oelschlegel, Candice P.
Armstrong, Sonya

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


University of Borås


The field of Developmental Education (DE) draws from a distinct and multidisciplinary body of research and scholarship to facilitate students' transitions to college and to support their postsecondary academic success. However, highly cited scholars and policymakers external to the field perpetuate negative perceptions of DE, arguing for reform or elimination without inclusion of field experts. Through a combination of Citation Content Analysis and Transitivity Analysis, this study examined citation trends and verb transitivity to uncover the voices privileged as experts within an influential publication by the Community College Research Center and aimed to uncover how the authors (re)presented the DE field, literature, scholarship, its members, and its students. Findings revealed a single citation of an in-field DE scholar and repeated erasure of developmental educators and DE scholarship through passivation of DE professionals as social actors. Implications are discussed for the importance of including inside-field experts’ voices in discussions about their field as a necessary component of developing a critical praxis of integrating scholarship and practice in support of students.



critical discourse studies, developmental Education, positioning theory, transitivity analysis, voicing, un-voicing, citation content analysis, Curriculum and Instruction


Suh, E. K., Wu, N., Garcia, A. J., Oelschlegel, C., & Armstrong, S. L. (2022). Unvoicing a field's expertise: A two-pronged citation and language analysis. Journal of Praxis in Higher Education, 4(2), pp. 90-121.


Rights Holder

Rights License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Rights URI