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Symbolic Excuses on False Pretenses or True Reconciliation out of Sincere Regret?
Since the 1990s we witness a rise in public apologies. Are we living in the ‘Age of Apology’?
Interesting research questions can be raised about the opportunity, the form, the meaning, the effectiveness and the ethical implications of public apologies.
Are they not merely a clever and easy device to escape real and tangible responsibility for mistakes or wrong done? Are they not at risk to become well-rehearsed rituals that claim to express regret but, in fact, avoid doing so?
In a joint interdisciplinary effort, the contributors to this book, combining findings from their specific fields of research (legal, religious, political, linguistic, marketing and communication studies), attempt to articulate this tension between ritual and sincere regret, between the discourse and the content of apologies, between excuses that pretend and regret that seeks reconciliation.
A linguistic analysis of ICT-mediated disclosure genres
Financial disclosure has become a crucial component of corporate communication. Through this process, companies aim to provide information and project an image of trustworthiness in response to on-going ethical concerns in the world of finance. Rhetoric in financial discourse provides new insights into how companies communicate with key stakeholders, not only to boost transparency, but also to attract investment. The book offers an in-depth linguistic analysis of the rhetorical dimension of financial communication. It focuses on two technology-mediated genres which are widely used, yet remain largely unexplored from a rhetorical perspective: earnings presentations and earnings releases. Using an innovative methodological approach, the book shows how corporate speakers and writers use distinctive rhetorical strategies to achieve their professional goals. It includes a practical discussion of how the findings can be exploited to develop state-of-the-art corporate communication courses and to improve the effectiveness of financial disclosure in professional settings.
The book contributes to an enhanced understanding of the language of finance, representing a discourse community that involves and impacts the lives of many people around the world. It will be of interest to several communities of practice, including language researchers, discourse analysts, corpus linguists, finance and communication academics, students of business and finance, and professionals of financial communication.
Studies on discourse and language learning originated in the field of general education and they focused on first language learning environments. However, since 1980s research on discourse and language learning broadened the scope of investigation to respond to second and foreign language environments. Recently, the emergence of new language learning contexts such as computer mediated communication, multilingual settings or content and language integrated contexts requires further research that focuses on discourse and language learning. From this perspective, the present volume aims to broaden the scope of investigation in foreign language contexts by exploring discourse patterns in the classroom and examining the impact of factors such as gender, explicitness of feedback or L1 use on language learning through discourse. With that aim in mind, this volume will bring together research that investigates discourse in various instructional settings, namely those of primary, secondary and university L2 learning environments, content and language integrated contexts and other new language learning settings. The number and variety of languages involved both as the first language (e.g. English, Finnish, Basque, Spanish, Japanese, French, Italian, Catalan) as well as the target foreign language (e.g. English, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish) makes the volume specially attractive. Additionally, the different approaches adopted by the researchers participating in this volume, such as information processing, sociocultural theory, or conversation analysis, widen the realm of investigation on discourse and language learning. Finally, the strength of the volume also lies in the range of educational settings (primary, secondary and tertiary education) and the worldwide representation of contributors across seven different countries, namely those of Spain, France, Austria, Finland, Germany, Canada, Australia and the United States. The uniqueness of the volume is due to its eclectic and comprehensive nature in tackling instructional discourse. Worldwide outstanding researchers, like Julianne House, Carme Muñoz, Ute Smit, Tarja Nikula or Roy Lyster, to quote but a few, adopt different perspectives in this joint contribution that will certainly broaden the scope of research on language learners’ discourse.
Author: Wyke Stommel
Online support groups are considered highly valuable in addition to traditional health care services, but we know very little about how people actually join such a group. This book offers a microanalysis of an online support group on eating disorders, specifically the communication through textual messages between newcomers and regular members and members’ nicknames. The study uses an ethnomethodological and conversation analytical approach to show that members of online support groups treat the group as a community in which their illness-identity is highly relevant. It appears that members invoke community norms regarding legitimacy for newcomers: Newcomers are expected to admit that they are ill, but this is a very difficult step for those who have not yet fully adopted the “sick role” (Parsons, 1951). In the field of eating disorders, it is particularly difficult for people that tend to pro-ana, i.e. the glamorization of eating disorders. The insecurity and anxiety that newcomers display as they enter the online group could probably be relieved when a special entry subforum would be installed in which they can take time and space to actually recognize that they are ill.
Pioneering in the comparison of standard language teaching in Europe, the International Mother tongue Education Network (IMEN) in the last twenty-five years stimulated experts from more than fifteen European countries to participate in a range of research projects in this field of qualitative educational analyses. The volume “Research on mother tongue education in a comparative international perspective – Theoretical and methodological issues” documents theoretical principals and methodological developments that during the last decades shaped IMEN research and may enlarge the fundaments of comparative qualitative research in language education in a seminal way. The topics of this volume include:
• IMEN’s aims, points of departure, history and methodology;
• research on the professional practical knowledge of MTE-teachers;
• innovation, key incident analysis and international triangulation;
• positioning in theory and practice.
Also included: the IMEN bibliography 1984-2004 which supplies a complete picture of IMEN research activities from the beginning.
This uniquely interdisciplinary collection of essays derives in part from a two-day international conference held at Heriot-Watt University in November 1999 and conceived as a critical forum for the discussion of the concept of interaction. The collection satisfies a continuing need for interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary research in the humanities and stems from an awareness of the growing currency of interactionist theories in several fields and the need to make a critical contribution to such theories and related concepts such as intersubjectivity and dialogism. Rather than advancing an apologetic view of interaction as something given, the contributors carefully consider and challenge commonly held epistemological and theoretical assumptions relating to the interaction concept. Interaction, if it is to be a meaningful concept, must be seen in terms of its modes (e.g. linguistic, media-based), units (language, logic, communication), objectives (understanding, consensus, stability) and fields of operation (face-to-face interaction, translation, social codification). This collection is intended to offer a provisional response to the question posed by one of its contributors, ‘What does it mean today that communication as the mechanism of social co-ordination has itself become complex?’. It means that erstwhile certainties of meaning transmission, stability, duality or dichotomy, identity and difference can be challenged and theoretically modelled in new contexts. Interdisciplinarity is one means by which to illuminate this complexity from several sides in the pursuit of theoretical blind spots in the field of critical communication studies. The book will be of particular interest to researchers and students in communication theory, linguistics, translation studies, logic, social psychology, discourse studies, European Studies, philosophy and semiotics.