Language and Occupation Theory + Theorists

  • Created by: DanBish
  • Created on: 12-05-22 18:05
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  • Language and Occupation
    • Theorists
      • Almut Koester
        • Suggests phatic talk is important part of getting jobs done, allowing employees to support each other in tasks. Workers need to build interpersonal relationships, not just discuss work-related procedures. Being sociable = important part of effective working Solidarity = important factor in workplace commu-nication.
      • Drew and Heritage
        • Members of a discourse community share 'inferential frameworks' (acquired knowledge used to understand implicit meanings). Strong hierarchies of power in organisations are marked by language.
      • John Swales - Discourse communities
        • All occupations have occupational discourses, or 'discourse community'. Members of discourse community: share set of common goals, use specialist lexis and discourse, have one or more genre of internal commu-nication and must have required level of knowledge/ skill to participate in community.
    • Key Definitions
      • Phatic talk - Language devoid of content, but supports social relationships
      • Inferential Framework - Knowledge built up overtime and used in order to understand meaning which are implicit
      • Occupational Lexis - Lexical terms often common to a specific occupations semantic field
      • Restricted Lexis - Highly specialised lexis, only used within a specific context
      • Jargon - Describing terms which unnecessarily exclude other people, however one person's terms could be another's jargon
      • Discourse community - Alternative term for a community of practise
      • Discourse structure - Internal structure of a text
      • Ethnography - The study of how a group of people communicate. These people are usually a part of the community which they study
      • Solidarity - The ability to connect with ones workmates. Solidarity is an important dimension in workplace communication
      • Corpus - A collection of searchable language data stored on a computer
    • Other theories/ideas
      • Accom-modation theory
        • People adjust (accom-modate) their language in order to fit in with others
        • An employee speaking in a more formal manner when talking with your boss, in order to fit in with them
        • Boss speaking in a more casual tone, in order to relate to his/her employees


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