Beyond Plagiarism: Transgressive and Nontransgressive Intertextuality
Published on Jul 1, 2004in Journal of Language Identity and Education
· DOI :10.1207/s15327701jlie0303_1
The debate about what constitutes plagiarism and how it should be dealt with in the academy continues to gain momentum. The response from many higher education institutions is to channel ever-increasing amounts of resources into plagiarism detection technologies, rather than trying to ascertain why plagiarism might be occurring in the first place. In this article, drawing on a wide range of data from student assignments and interviews with staff and students, we argue that it would be preferable to do away with the notion of plagiarism in favour of an understanding of transgressive and nontransgressive intertextuality. Once textual borrowings are seen in this light, we are more able to focus on the crucial issues of writing, identity, power, knowledge, disciplinary dynamics, and discourse that underlie intertextuality. We conclude that judgements about the nature of intertextuality are contextually contingent; they should also be understood as part of a broader account of institutional regulation and stud...