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Running Head: DISCOURSE COMMUNITY ETHNOGRAPHY 1 Correctional Officer Discourse Community Ethnography Bernadette Mendoza The University of Texas at El Paso DISCOURSE COMMUNITY ETHNOGRAPHY 2 Abstract Discourse communities are a group of members with a common goal that will use different forms of commination to achieve these goals.
  Running Head: DISCOURSE COMMUNITY ETHNOGRAPHY1 Correctional Officer Discourse Community EthnographyBernadette MendozaThe University of Texas at El Paso  D!COU !E COMMU#T$ ET%#O& 'P%$( ')stract Discourse communities are a group of mem)ers *ith a common goal that *ill use different forms of commination to achieve these goals+ ,!*ales -../0 To 1ualify as a discourse community2 !*ales has six characteristics a community must follo*+  chose to analyze correctional officers to determine if they are a discourse community follo*ing !*ales3 characteristics+ 'fter my analysis2  have found that correctional officers are a discourse community+ They have different forms of communication *ithin the community2 including a specific lexis that may )e hard to understand if you are not in the community+ They also have a common set of goals+  D!COU !E COMMU#T$ ET%#O& 'P%$4 ntroduction  Discourse communities are a very important part of society2 as *hether people 5no* it or not2 they are li5ely involved in at least one+ There are specific guidelines to follo* to )e classified as a discourse community2 )ut they are present in almost any setting+ There are academic discourse communities2 as *ell as professional discourse communities2 and many more+ There is no re1uirement on the num)er of mem)ers2 so long as there is specific communication and goals+ Of course2 there are other specifics that must )e met to )e a discourse community+ There are many definitions2 )ut the )asis of all definitions is ali5e+ There are t*o authors in *hich  *ill use their definitions to help determine if correctional officers are a discourse community+ 6iterature evie* 7ohn !*ales ,-../0 descri)es a discourse community as groups of people *ho have common goals or purposes and use communication to achieve these goals+ %e lists six characteristics these groups must a)ide )y to )e a discourse community+ The first characteristic isthis group must 8have a set of common pu)lic goals+9 ,!*ales -../0 This guideline is easy to follo*2 as even many groups that do not 1ualify as discourse communities have common goals+ :or example2 teachers have a common goal to educate efficiently and prepare youth for the future+ %is second characteristic is 8a discourse community has mechanisms of intercommunication among its mem)ers+9 ,!*ales -../0 n simpler terms2 this means everyone communicates+ 'n example of this is the use telephone or radios+ The third characteristic a discourse community must follo* 8is they must use participatory mechanisms primarily to  provide information and feed)ac5+9 ,!*ales -../0+ The mechanisms used could )e emails2 ne*s2  D!COU !E COMMU#T$ ET%#O& 'P%$; radios2 magazines2 and many more+ The fourth characteristic is a discourse community 8utilizes and hence possess one or more genre in the communitive furtherance of its aims+9 ,!*ales -../0This genre2 or text2 could include emails2 )logs2 flyers2 )rochures2 letters2 etc+ The fifth characteristic is a specific lexis for the community+ ' lexis is simply a language used2 and in this case2 *ould only )e understood )y mem)ers of the community+ The final characteristic is the 8community has a threshold level of mem)ers *ith a suita)le degree of relevant content and discoursal expertise+9 ,!*ales -../0 n short2 this means there must )e novices and experts in thecommunity+ This ensures that once the experts pass2 the novices *ill )e experts and continue the community+ <ithout the novices present2 the community *ill eventually crum)le+7ames E+ Porter descri)es a discourse community as a group of 8individuals )ound )y a commoninterest *ho communicate through approved channels and *hose discourse is regulated+9 ,Porter -.=>0 %is definition is li5e !*ales in the sense that a discourse community has a common interest+ That is !*ales3 first characteristic+ Both also )elieve discourse communities rely heavily on texts+ Porter has his characteristics2 *hich they all rely on a form of communication2 most via texts+ Porter states that texts are important to discourse communities2 )ut to )e accepta)le texts they must follo* certain re1uirements depending on the community+ Porter  )elieves the communities rely heavily on intertextuality2 this is *here he and s*ales differ2 as !*ales )elieves each community has their o*n srcinal texts+ The use of other people3s ideas or *riting is present in anything one may *rite2 *hether intentionally or not+ This is intertextuality+ One may pic5 up on another *ritings style2 or a phrase and they may use it *ithout thin5ing it is  plagiarism+ This2 according to Porter2 is almost necessary in discourse communities2 as you mustmeet re1uirements in texts2 and it is hard to )e srcinal a)out the same topic over and over+
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