Discourse Community

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Spoken and written discourse occurs in particular social and cultural settings and it is used and understood in different way in different social and cultural settings. The notions of discourse community and speech community influence what we say and how we say it in terms of the language variety we choose in writing or speaking; the speaker’s social class and social networks (generally speaking, the social class of the participants in any communication) also affect their use of language. These participants (of different social classes have social networks and constitute various social groups) express their social identity –e.g. gendered identity-through discourse. Discourse communities and speech communities: Discourse community is a key notion…show more content…
who we are speaking to)  The social context of the interaction  The topic, function and goal of the interaction  Social distance between speakers  The formality of the setting or type of interaction  The status of speakers E.g. the use of slang among teenagers as a way of bonding with their friends and a guarantee that their conversations will remain private. A speaker or writer may also be the speaker of a particular language variety but uses that variety to communicate with a wider speech community than just their own e.g. the BBC Panorama interview with Princess Diana (BBC 1995) had more than a single speech community in mind as it was made, it was broadcast worldwide and achieved an audience of over 200 million people beyond the speech community in which it was originally located. Discount, social class and social networks: Social class influences the use of spoken and written discourse; it is difficult to define as its identification can be somewhat subjective. Factors to identify members of a social class are:  Occupation  Education  Income  Housing and its location  Religious affiliation  Leisure time…show more content…
socially constructed category). Gender is not just a natural and inevitable consequence of one's sex; it is part of the routine, ongoing work of everyday social interaction so one can say that it is the product of social practice. Researchers Interested in language and gender have focused increasingly on plurality and diversity amongst female and male language users, and on gender as performativity -something that is done in context, rather than a fixed attribute. Simone de Beauvoir famously said 'one is not born, but rather becomes a woman'. Performativity is based on the view that in saying something, we do or become it. People perform particular identities through their use of language and other ways of expressing themselves in their interactions with each other (using unconsciously repeated acquired acts e.g. gestures, movement and ways of using language that index a particular identity). In her book Language and Women's Place, Lakoff (1975) identified the features of what she called 'women's

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