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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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Texts at work: The construction of an ideal workplace in ‘platforms of values’ (Catharina Nyström Höög)

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Catharina Nyström Höög

Uppsala University, Sweden

Texts at work: The construction of an ideal workplace in ‘platforms of values’

Abstract: Changing communicative patterns within the Swedish public sector have given rise to new types of texts, which serve the purpose of managing through visions and ideals rather than by means of direct orders. This paper presents one such new text type, the ‘platform of values’, which uses visual resources as well as verbal descriptions of core values as part of a practice which might be described as ‘soft steering’. Using theoretical concepts from CDA as a starting point, and methods of textual and multimodal analysis based on systemic functional linguistics, three common features of the platforms of values are presented: visual resources, mood metaphors and noun phrases describing positive qualities. The paper concludes that all three features contribute to a non-authoritative managerial ideal where responsibility is open for negotiation.

1. Introduction

In Sweden, communication in the public sector has been changing rapidly during the beginning of the new century. Printed texts have been replaced with digital ones, pamphlets are no longer distributed at public places, but can be downloaded from the website, telephone calls are discouraged while self-service encounters with the authorities’ websites are encouraged. This process of restructuring of communication affects the textual repertoire in several ways. It influences the design and development of existing genres. It also affects the way management is carried...

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