Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Discovering the styles and genres as used in any writing

Written by: on November 2, 2019


Writing of books involves so many kinds of styles and with different genres. Most writers have an idea of what they want to communicate to the audience, and where possible the concepts may be applied either in the life of reader or the people the book is talking to. After reading Pink’s book on Doing Visual Ethnography, more pointers on how to write and read using visual ethnography were coming into my mind. Somehow, I had not known why writers use this kind of genre. This was a discovery to me and hence will be applied wherever writing any article or book, for this does stimulate the reader to ask questions of why such visual was used and the intentions of the writer.

Most people read books with different intentions for example: for leisure, a set book in the academia circles, for history and for other reasons. However, my discovery is that we need to read carefully, critically and consider what the author intended us to know and conceptualize through the use of different genres and styles.

Sim, in his book Introducing Critical Theory, comes up yet with another style of reading or writing a book in different contexts. He does use very many theories, a number of different graphics and words that make up the different critical theories. Sim uses graphics which are connected with drawings that are very clear and full of details that the reader has to critically examine. He originates his graphics from different theories to communicate his idea of social structures in the society. Graphics are of great help to the reader because while observing the drawings, they help in interpreting the whole idea and applying the same in life. In addition, graphics will help the reader remember what has been read and this leads to the reader interpreting the concepts of the writer. The graphics should appeal to the reader or audience and contain a clear socialist message which should be somewhat established. The graphics do also involve artistic features that show the portraits of people that mattered in the society of academia. Some of the art becomes a innovative portraits that people would want to identify with in life.

While mapping the origins of critical theory, Sim, begins from the days of enlightenment in 1640 to 1789, to emphasize the role of reason in human affairs and is committed to material progress and the liberation of human from political servitude, and he has developed the other theories in a systematic way.[1] In his diagram, the development of critical theory is something to be adopted however, some modern thinkers feel that they have been isolated from other groups or where they felt was a place of belonging. This isolation is as a result of natural human condition within the cultural setting which deals with the sense of belonging. He argues, in Marxist theory, the society is made up an economic base or infrastructure and superstructure which comprises of all human social and cultural activities, the base is held to dictate the form that those various activities e.g. Religion, the law, politics, education, the media, the arts will take.[2] It’s true that some of the activities within the society can be dictated by the form of structure within the society. Modern culture develops their behaviour from the structure of cultural setting. Now, the modern cultural practice that deviates from its original cultural setting should be revised to allow the participation of every in cultural activity. Sometimes, judgements passed from one culture to other cultures because of what they do or behave in the society. The concept of culture in the society should be viewed in relation to the theories applied and the paradigm shifts that are experienced within the cultural setting. There is need for multiple interpretation of and the denial of the concept of indisputable central authority within the society.  However, Sim notes that pluralists refuse to priviledge any one of the interpretation of a text or ideological position, and encourage diversity, Graphics would help identify some cultural beliefs.

One of the theories that really were a blessing to me was Reception Theory, which concentrates on the interaction of the reader and the text…. Textual meaning is seen to emerge from the reader engagement with the text, with some theorists claiming that the reader is almost entirely responsible for the creation of that meaning.[3] This is what I deal with when teaching Biblical Interpretation in our Bible College and in the Church. However, Sim does not tell us how we need to interpret in a way that the reader should find out what the original authors intended meaning for behavioural change and transformation. The reader needs some instruments that will help him or her to interpret the social message for the author.

The theories that Sim is applying in the book deal with different disciplines with different art. He affirms that some of the portraits in the political arena must communicate correct political message- plenty of happy workers looking to a bright future.[4] This implies that any portrait used must show the true person in his facial expressions and cultural expressions. This means that the writer must be keen in the kind graphics to be employed in the writing, so that it is not culturally offensive. Sim adds that the technic of art is to make objects “unfamiliar”, to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged[5]. People perceive things differently, however the intent of the writer should be to communicate the message and be conceptualized depending on the cultural background in various disciplines. The reader should not read into the this method of writing but should interpret in relation to the implication of the either the portraits, art  and graphics.

[1]  Stuart Sim, and Borin Van Loon. Introducing Critical Theory: A Graphic Guide. London: Icon Books Ltd. 2012


2 ibid

3 ibid

[4] Ibid page 462

[5] Ibid  page 474

About the Author

Simon Bulimo

Born 1961 May 29th Went through High School Diploma in theology Degree in Bible and Theology Masters in Biblical Studies A pastor with Friends Church

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