What even is a Discourse Community??Edit
John Swales defined discourse communities as "groups that have goals or purposes, and use communication to achieve these goals."
James Porter calls discourse communities: “a local and temporary constraining system, defined by a body of texts (or more generally, practices) that are unified by a common focus. A discourse community is a textual system with stated and unstated conventions, a vital history, mechanisms for wielding power, institutional hierarchies, vested interests, and so on.”
Will Ogles says "Discourse communities are a group of likeminded people who get together and do stuff and its a simple as that."
What makes a Discourse Community?Edit
A Discourse Community:
- has a broadly agreed set of common public goals.
- has mechanisms of intercommunication among its members.
- uses its participatory mechanisms primarily to provide information and feedback.
- utilizes and hence possesses one or more genres in the communicative furtherance of its aims.
- in addition to owning genres, it has acquired some specific lexis
- has a threshold level of members with a suitable degree of relevant content and discoursal expertise.
Examples of a Discourse Community and whyEdit
From Professional setting like Doctors:
- have the same goals of helping patients
- communiciate with other doctors at confernces, write prescriptions to let other qualified people know what they expect done
- definitely has their own set of vocabulary- from the Medulla Oblongata to acetaminophen, doctors could have a conversation in front of you that sounded likea foreign language
- there also very much is a level of expertise difference among doctors. Fresh out of school doctors will have a lot to learn compared to a chief doctor of a hospital
Discourses can be non-professional as well, something as simple as a Church group could be considered as such.
- The goals of the church group could be different (depending on what church) but the goals are similar to become closer to some higher being with your peers
- They would do this through conversations or bible studies in the week and especially at church on Sundays.
- Their own vocabulary could consist of catechism or theological virtues. Things you wouldn’t likely here at a casual dinner
- Also here too school is a major game changer when it comes to evidence, you could be a average church goer, or a priest but your goals remain the same (you just may go about them in a different manner).
Breaking it down more..Edit
Discourse communities are made to be much harder than they really are. Discourse communities are a scholalry term so in a way you could say just reading this makes you part of a discourse. Because they are a scholarly term they sometimes thought of as a tough or difficult concept. However if you have a question if something is a in fact a discourse community just follow my steps above and if you can fill out the explanations, youre dealing with a discourse community!