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The Language of Popularization- Die Sprache der Popularisierung

Theoretical and Descriptive Models- Theoretische und deskriptive Modelle

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Edited By Giancarmine Bongo and Giuditta Caliendo

In today’s knowledge-based society, exploring the dynamics of communicating specialised contents to the lay public is an undoubtedly topical issue. However, popularization still remains a rather unexplored territory and recent contributions to the field seem to lack a consistent methodological orientation, with hesitations in terms of shared and codified definitions. The contributions to this volume constitute a step forward in the field of popularization studies. New scenarios have been explored with a view to providing shared theoretical and descriptive models from a linguistic perspective and investigating the way popularization is characterised and instantiated, also taking into account its intercultural dimension. The research methods and tools draw upon the analytical framework of discourse analysis, pragmatics, corpus linguistics and genre analysis.
In der heutigen Wissensgesellschaft sind die Mechanismen des Transfers von Fachwissen an Laien von großer Relevanz. Dennoch bleibt Popularisierung ein linguistisch noch relativ unbestimmtes und unerforschtes Phänomen. Ziel des Bandes ist deshalb, neue Perspektiven zu eröffnen und auf mögliche neue konsistente Modelle (sowohl theoretische als auch methodologische) hinzuweisen. Unterschiedliche Ansätze kommen dabei ins Spiel, u.a. Diskursanalyse, Rhetorik, Pragmatik, Korpuslinguistik und genre analysis.
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Institutional popularization of medical knowledge: the case of pandemic influenza A (H1N1): Stefania Maci

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STEFANIA MACI

The way in which the media covered news about the pandemic level of H1N1 established by the World Health Organization (WHO) led the WHO to suggest to local institutions to adopt strategic communication plans in order to inform citizens about the real nature of the spread of the new strain of influenza A (H1N1) virus. This required a process of popularization of both scientific and institutional knowledge. The language of popularization has been the object of in-depth investigation from various perspectives. The overall idea is that it is not a distorted simplification of scientific knowledge for non-specialists but rather a reformulation and re-contextualization of scientific knowledge in a more direct form because of the different agents, voices and genres involved. Starting from the assumption that the language of popularization implies the reformulation and re-contextualization of scientific knowledge in a more direct form, the present paper investigates how and to what extent scientific knowledge is rendered in popularized language by institutions in order to recommend suitable behaviour to be adopted by the general public for the purpose of preventing the spread of the influenza A (H1N1) virus. The study analyses four posters targeting a young readership aged from six to twenty, and belonging to the campaign adopted by the UK and Italian Health Ministries to prevent further diffusion of the virus. The investigation suggests differences across cultures in the communication strategies adopted to convert scientific knowledge into efficacious popularized discourse. ← 165 | 166 →

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