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Narratives in Academic and Professional Genres

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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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ELIZABETH DE GROOT Getting the Picture in Annual Reports: A Reflectionon the Genre-based Analysis of Photographic Narrative - 413

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ELIZABETH DE GROOT Getting the Picture in Annual Reports: A Reflection on the Genre-based Analysis of Photographic Narrative 1. Introduction: photographs in annual reports While the annual report was once a fact-based document primarily containing statutory financial information, increased interest in discretionary disclosures have caused its evolution into a document in which narratives with photographs and graphs prevail (Clatworthy/ Jones 2001). Although national reporting regulators such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission or the UK Accounting Standards Board have discouraged companies’ use of distracting material in financial reporting, there are few regulations for the visual appearance of annual report texts (Beattie/Dhanani/Jones 2008). Hence, summary annual reports in particular often include a large number of company-selected images and have been referred to as companies’ calling cards (Beattie et al. 2008; Hynes/Bexley 2004). Drawing on narrative theory (e.g. Chatman 1975), the present chapter assumes that – complementary to verbal elements – company-selected images are manifestations of the narrative included in the annual report sections preceding the regulated financial accounts (Jameson 2000). The chapter specifically seeks to highlight the complexity of analyzing photographic narrative and aims to provide a set of tools that allows for a systematic and consistent examination of both verbal and visual narrative manifestations. It will do so on the basis of a genre framework (e.g. Bhatia 1993; Swales 1990). Over the past two decades, the prominence of photography in annual reports has spurred research interest in the pictorial narrative of 414 Elizabeth de Groot this genre. Different perspectives have been...

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