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Discourse Studies – Ways and Crossroads

Insights into Cultural, Diachronic and Genre Issues in the Discipline

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Edited By Karolina Bros and Grzegorz Kowalski

The volume brings together papers emerging from the GlobE conference (University of Warsaw). The authors explore major topics in Discourse Studies, offering insights into the field’s theoretical foundations and discussing the results of its empirical applications. The book integrates different lines of research in Discourse Studies as undertaken at academic centres Europe-wide and beyond. In this diversity, the editors identify certain dominant lines of study, including (new) media discourse, political discourse in the age of social/digital media, or professional discourse in globalized workplace contexts. At the same time, the volume shows that Discourse Studies not only investigate emerging language phenomena, but also critically reassess research issues formerly addressed.

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Discourses in organizations and workplaces in the globalized economy (Britt-Louise Gunnarsson)

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Britt-Louise Gunnarsson

Uppsala University, Sweden

Discourses in organizations and workplaces in the globalized economy

Abstract: The conditions for professional discourse have been influenced by a series of changes taking place in recent decades. One striking feature is the increased reliance on the Internet for internal and external communication, another one the ongoing globalization of the business world and the job market. Multilingual companies use English as their corporate language, and the globalized job market bring issues of multilingualism and multiculturalism to the surface, both in relation to the organization as a whole and to workplace practices.

This paper summarizes the results of studies exploring discourses in organizations and workplaces in the globalized economy. It (1) analyzes staff policy documents and career stories from nine multinationals’ websites, with a focus on the images of the company and its culture which they reveal. It also (2) explores multinationals’ language policy through an analysis of explicit language requirements in advertisements for jobs in Swedish branches of multinationals. Finally, it (3) looks at multilingualism at work from a workfloor perspective, then focusing on the communicative situation of immigrants in a Swedish hospital and a transnational company. In the Discussion (section 5), the results are viewed in a broader perspective and related to a model for the analysis of the contextual construction of professional discourse.

1. Introduction

The conditions for professional discourse have been influenced by a series of changes...

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