An Understanding Discourse Community and its Consequences

In the beginning, one must know the definition of a discourse community. Such a community deals with a group of people who are indulged in a conversation related to a similar topic. Or it can be regarded as a community where people discuss their opinions or thoughts about particular content. Often, the people of the discourse community speak or discuss the same vocabulary and language.

Have you seen a community group who is sharing about a certain topic which you’re aware of? It may be about an activity, job, sport, or any talent. Though, it may not be possible for you to join the ongoing conversation without having the same interest in it. The reason might be that you’re not the discourse community member. No doubt, you can understand them speaking the commonly used language such as English. Still, there is a change in the contextual part, which depends upon the language used.

Are you still confused about the discourse community? Continue reading to know in detail.

What is a group of people who holds a similar aim in writing called? In simple terms, it can also be referred to as a discourse community.

Everyone lives in different discourse communities that are formed due to your ethnic or religious backgrounds or your family. Also, you may get involved in a discourse community due to your common field of interest with others. In such communities, there’s nothing related to anonymity or fake personas.

When discussing the “discourse community” topic, one must know about six basic characteristics, according to John Swales:

  1. A discourse community has pre-defined public goals

Assume what could be the goal of a group of professors or teachers? It will be about making the students learn new things and apply their knowledge to achieve success in life.

In a group of pilots, the goal would be flying the planes with utmost safety and make passengers fly from the departure destination safely to the arrival destination. Among different groups, some public goal is pre-defined.

  1. A discourse community employs an intercommunication mechanism

In every group, there is a form of intercommunication happening either directly or indirectly. To keep the intercommunication smooth, groups apply a mechanism for it.

  1. A discourse community employs a mechanism for information as well as feedback purposes

Often, feedbacks are provided with the help of a blog. You can even find some examples of this on blogs identical to HuffPost. Other forms of writing, including FAQs page or others, can also be considered into usage for informational purposes.

  1. A discourse community makes use of several genres for communicative purposes

In the communication aims of different discourse communities, there may be one of more genres.

  1. A discourse community acquires genres as well as lexis

In simple words, it means the jargon which differs from community-to-community. Though, it is an essential part of intercommunication within the community.

For instance, artists use a specific type of lexis, which is used for different mediums, tools, and so on. Marine biologists have distinct lexis other than biologists.

  1. A discourse community operates with the threshold members

Often, the members of the discourse community begin to increase in the form of novices. In the beginning, everyone can’t be an expert. The ratio of novices to an expert is maintained in the groups.

What are the consequences of forming a discourse community?

In general terms, one can understand discourse as a form of conversation occurring between groups of people either in written or spoken format. In this type of conversation, people with the same field of interest develop a group and discuss their ideas. The consequences of forming a discourse community are positive. It is because the existence of discourse is beneficial for people to communicate with the other world, such as society, wherein everyone lives. When an individual comes in contact with a social group, then the conversation which happens among them is considered as discourse. Being a part of a social group is similar to being a part of a community. In basic words, the community can be defined as a group of people gathered to discuss a similar topic.

Among the important things which one must know about being a part of the discourse community, some of them include:

  • One must know the language used in the group.
  • Be clear about the style in which a language is being used.
  • Be familiar with community interests and goals.

In the context of being familiar with the discourse community concept, one must understand that it is not just restricted to the audience. It also means knowing the words or new vocabulary which is being used in the community. Or use the words to frame a sentence or paragraph.

After being familiar with the discourse community concept, you can start employing it into your piece of writing. As and soon you begin to use it, you can look at the level of effectiveness, which increases in your write-ups.