A discourse community is referred to as a group of people communicating with one another, and they tend to have some common goals as well as attitudes. This group of individuals operates in forums whereby the community associates can contribute to the discussions in an ideal manner, and this is due to their flexible and intangible nature. The discourse communities create the kind of writings plus readings that typically get individuals forward and thus this makes them become influential literacy instigators, principally concerning the adult literacy growth (Swales and John, p.215). According to Swales, this group of individuals is sociohistorical as they use the linguistic to get things done in the world and therefore to increase further their powers. Also, this implies that the shared vocabulary of a group besides their writing techniques are not just the only means of socializing with each other, and instead they exist as the ways through which they can realize their group goalmouths or purpose.
Therefore to help the group in the realization of their goals plus mission, the members are obliged to learn the ideal vocabulary and also the group genres, or they will have a higher risk of being eliminated from the group. A discourse community exploits and also enjoys one or several genres in the unrestrained persistence of its goals. Therefore it is good to note that the genres express the processes of this group of people. Some of the examples of genres include the personal narratives and emails among many others.
I happened to interview some members of a discourse community with the aim of getting to know their mode of living and the activities which they usually conduct. The interview objective was to collect data of the discourse community ethnography. The interview process comprised of the following questions:
Tell me something about your group?
Why did you join the group?
What are your group’s purposes?
What do you typically do to achieve those goals?
Are all the members of the group supportive?
Are you regarded as a novice or an expert in the group?
How does your group intercommunicate?
Discourse Community Analysis
A discourse community tends to have a broad approved set of collective public goals
This notion is easy to conceptualize. For example, a group of pilots has some goalmouths; that is to transport passengers from one locality to another safely. Also, a group of tutors have their goals of teaching the scholars and thus assisting them to progress in life (Swales and John p.13).
The group has some ways of intercommunication between their associates.
The group’s participating methods will differ regarding the community: gatherings, telecommunications, emails, news sheets, conversations among others. Therefore every kind of intercommunication that facilitates the communication of more than one individuals typically fits in this category.
The group applies its participating mechanisms predominantly to offer information plus feedback
In this category, membership entails acceptance of the informational prospects. The tools used in intercommunication are also used in this category. For instance, a blog is typically used for providing feedback, and even emails are used in the meetings to convey information and to offer some feedback.
The group employs and henceforth retains one or other genres in the communicative maintenance of its goals.
The group has established, and it endures to develop discourse prospects. The process may involve the appropriate level of topics, function plus the setting of discourse elements, the form as well as the roles that the writings play in the process of the discourse community.
The group has developed some precise lexis in addition to possessing genres
It refers to the jargon that tends to be definite to a particular community, and however, it is prerequisite by the community members for intercommunication. For instance, the artists have specific lexis that is typically used to elucidate tools, methods and also the mediums. Thus each community possesses its lexis.
The group preserves a verge level of associates with an appropriate degree of significant content and discourse knowledge.
It is vivid that discourse communities have a diverse membership. The members frequently join as novices, and they usually leave by demise or in less instinctive methods. Conversely, the community survivability typically depends on a reasonable ratio amongst the beginners as well as the experts.
Analyzing Data and Results
Anne Johns clarifies in “Discourse communities and Communities of Practice” that a discourse community comprises of any group of individuals that share same ideas, and it does not exist as an elite group of individuals, and thus it is also influenced by the immediate environment. Moreover, in “Identity, Authority, and learning to write in New Workplaces,” by Elizabeth Wardle, she suggests that every individual typically takes a lot or fewer effort to fit into a different discourse community like in the workplace.
According to John Swales, conflict is an instrument of intercommunication that is applied by a particular discourse community in expectations of finding for an improved alternative (Greer and Scott, p.31). For instance, conflicts arise like on a daily basis in the Congress, but in the end, they are meant for the advantage of the American citizens. Therefore this is a vivid description that there exist conflicts within the discourse community. Most of the conflicts are experienced in the society due to some reasons for example when individuals are excluded from the discourse communities due to lack of social status, money or talent as they live in the wrong regions of the towns for example. In some other instances, it requires a long initiatory process for obtaining the discourse community membership where in some cases there exists even no assurance of success (Greer and Scott, p26). Those who are wishing to join these communities typically applies several techniques for example by use of the modes of belonging, for example, alignment and engagement. Authority in the discourse communities usually comes from powerful individuals who happen to have a high social class in society.
Greer, Scott. The concept of community: Readings with interpretations. Routledge, 2017.
Johnstone, Barbara. Discourse analysis. Vol. 3. John Wiley & Sons, 2018.
Swales, John M. “Reflections on the concept of discourse community.” ASp. la revue du GERAS 69 (2016): 7-19.
Swales, John. “The concept of discourse community.” Wardle and Downs (2014): 215-28.