Theories and Practices
Edited By Diana Trebing and Ahmet Atay
chapter 8 Mentoring and “The Space of Communicative Praxis”: Theorizing Mentoring as Everyday Practice
James T. Petre
Mentoring has been theorized in a variety of ways within the communication discipline. For example, mentoring has been theorized as a communicative act (e.g., Kalbfleisch, 2002), a critical act of love (e.g., Calafell, 2007), and a reverse process (e.g., Towns, 2011). However, little attention has been paid to the ways in which our everyday communication practices play a role in mentoring others.
This essay invites readers to consider mentoring as an everyday constitutive practice. Often times, as noted above, mentoring is thought of as a distinct endeavor that occurs separately from other aspects of life. In many cases, this is true. For example, there are situations in which someone is formally assigned a mentor, and there are specific obligations that must be fulfilled (e.g., regular meetings). In other situations, we may be drawn to a student or colleague (or they to us) and wish to informally take on a mentoring role. These mentoring roles are of critical importance, and I do not wish to diminish them. In fact, I received assistance from and take on many of these mentoring roles myself. However, I find that there are many situations in which simply taking the time to engage in a brief interaction with someone can make a difference. Yet, despite their importance, many of these mentoring situations go unrecognized. Therefore, in this essay, I focus on mentoring that takes place on an everyday level.1←153 | 154→
Specifically, I will ground my discussion...
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