Analyze: Discourse Communities
Evaluation Title: Discourse Communities
Before starting a research project it is imperative to recognize your discourse community. This will lead you to suitable places to conduct your research and will assist you in communicating with your audience in a language that they recognize and relate to.
To complete this assessment, consider the discourse communities or groups of people with whom you share common interests. Consider the individuals that discuss topics important to the group.
- List all learning and social discourse communities that you are member of.
Respond to the questions below in an essay that provides an analysis of your discourse communities.
- What topics of discussion, issues, problems, or concerns keep these communities together? What constitutes new knowledge for your group? Is it created experimentally, through discussion, or through a combination of these two and other methods?
- How would you characterize the kinds of language which each of these communities use? Is it formal, informal, complex, simple, and so on? How are the community’s reasons for existence you listed in the first question reflected in their language?
- When you entered into the community, did you have to change your discourse, both oral and written, in any way, to be accepted and to participate in the discussions of the community?
- Does your community or group produce any written documents? These may include books, professional journals, newsletters, and other documents. What is the purpose of those documents, their intended audience, and the language that they use? How different are these documents from one community to the next?
- How often does a community you belong to come into contact with other intellectual and discourse groups? What kinds of conversations take place? How are conflicts and disagreements negotiated and resolved? How does each group adjust its discourse to hear the other side and be heard by it?