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Narratives in Academic and Professional Genres


Edited By Maurizio Gotti and Carmen Sancho Guinda

This book received the Enrique Alcaraz Research Award in 2015.

Through Narrative Theory, the book offers an engaging panorama of the construction of specialised discourses and practices within academia and diverse professional communities. Its chapters investigate genres from various fields, such as aircraft accident reports, clinical cases and other scientific observations, academic conferences, academic blogs, climate-change reports, university decision-making in public meetings, patients’ oral and written accounts of illness, corporate annual reports, journalistic obituaries, university websites, narratives of facts in legal cases, narrative processes in arbitration hearings, briefs, and witness examination accounts. In addition to exploring narration in this wide range of contexts, the volume uses narrative as a powerful tool to gain a methodological insight into professional and academic accounts, and thus it contributes to research into theoretical issues. Under the lens of Narratology, Discourse and Genre Analysis, fresh research windows are opened on the study of academic and professional interactions.


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KJERSTI FLØTTUM Narratives in Reports about Climate Change - 277


KJERSTI FLØTTUM Narratives in Reports about Climate Change 1. Introduction Multiple actors are involved in the global challenge of climate change. Their voices are represented in numerous texts and talks. How do these actors, from different institutional contexts, construct linguistically and discursively their climate policy? With a point of departure in the hypothesis that a narrative analysis may be a fruitful perspective for the understanding of climate change discourse, this will be the main question of the present chapter. Among the numerous genres which are represented in the climate change debate, some of the most read and most cited globally are the reports edited by large institutions such as the Intergovern- mental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the World Bank and the UN Development Program (UNDP). These organisations aim at reaching out to large publics: experts, policymakers and media, but also to ordinary citizens. The empirical support of the analysis under- taken here will be three reports published by these institutions. Issues related to climate change communication proliferate in various disciplinary and often multidisciplinary research initiatives (Nerlich et al. 2010). Climate change seems to have moved from being predominantly a physical phenomenon to being simultaneously social, cultural, and political (see Hulme 2009: xxv). It is an extreme- ly complex, long-term phenomenon which is global in nature, but often experienced locally. As the climate change debate is rapidly evolving, we hear a multitude of voices with different claims: differ- ent actors are getting involved in order to address the challenges,...

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