What does this discourse value?

Discourse Analysis
Due 11/4 at the beginning of class, on iLearn
Two-three pages double-spaced
As we discussed in class, discourses are settings that come with an expected set of behaviors in order to function within the discourse. Another distinguishing feature of discourses is that they require an identity kit required to function within the discourse, which may include a dress code, a specialized vocabulary, etc. For example, a college classroom is a discourse where, in order to adapt and function, one must manifest certain behaviors, such as respect for peers, teachers, etc. Our classroom also constitutes a discourse because we have vocabulary that’s specific to us—memo, business report, executive summary, etc.

Discourses are also indicative of value systems and they have goals. In other words, most everything that occurs within a given discourse is a reflection of the value system that lies beneath the discourse. And, it is fairly safe to say that discourses are the way that they are because they have some kind of goal. Discourses will often be significantly different from each other. For example, the discourse of a classroom will be different than the discourse of a place of worship, which will be different than the discourse of a night out with friends.

For the sake our business course, we’re interested in the discourse of a workplace. It is important to be aware of (and possibly adapt to) the discourse of a one’s workplace in order to navigate daily operations within that discourse. Just like the how the personalities of companies will differ, the discourses (value systems, goals, expected behavior, required identity kit) will also differ.

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Your Task

This assignment will require that you do some firsthand research and observe a workplace or a classroom setting(though not this one). I’d like you to study a workplace, classroom setting and make inferences about the discourse of this setting.

I would like you to write two to three pages detailing what you observe to be the discourse of this setting. Some things you can be looking for:

• Vocabulary—Is there a set of vocabulary one would have to know to function in this setting
• Behaviors—How should people in this discourse conduct themselves? Is it an easygoing environment? Is it a bit more conservative? What’s the general mood like?
• Dress-code—What kind of uniform(if any) would one need to navigate this discourse? Is there a formal dress-code that’s upheld? Is it a more causal atmosphere where formal dress would be laughed at?
• Feel free to list any other observations you make about what will comprise the “identity kit” that’s needed in order to exist within this discourse.
• For every observation you make, try and think about what values the observation is a reflection of. What does this discourse value? How do things like the dress-code, the vocabulary, the expected behavior reflect these values?

You may use a workplace you where you currently or have previously worked or you can use one that you have no part of but may be interested in.

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