This article discusses the development of a unified social theory of genre learning based on the integration of rhetorical genre studies, activity theory, and the situated learning perspective. The article proposes that these three theoretical perspectives are compatible and complementary, and it illustrates applications of a unified framework to a study of genre learning by novice engineers. The author draws examples from a longitudinal qualitative study of a group of novice engineers who developed their professional genre knowledge through both academic and workplace experiences. These examples illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework for the study of professional genre learning.

Activity theory, Case studies, Engineering communication, Rhetorical genre theory, Situated learning
Journal of Business and Technical Communication
Carleton University

Artemeva, N. (2008). Toward a unified social theory of genre learning. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 22(2), 160–185. doi:10.1177/1050651907311925