Goal: Discourse Community

Blog » Goal: Discourse Community

Posted on 22 Mar 2013 02:03

The definitions of a discourse community we have learned sometimes vary from author to author. From each research or paper we have read by an author we learn new divisions (separations) in a discourse community. However, based on all the definitions of a discourse community we can establish that the main two identities of a community are the common goal and genre with everyone who composes the community. For this midterm project I have decided to study my old soccer team which is part of a big community of the South Bronx United Soccer.

As mentioned previously, a discourse community serves as an identity to a community and its members. A discourse community must satisfy all six categories described by John Swales, and they are: a shared goal, “intercommunication among its members,” specific genre, exchange of information, a “high general level of expertise,” and terminologies. As described by Ann Johns, who agrees with Swales’ definition of a discourse community, explains in her research that people decide to join communities based on their interest and for purposes of socializing, hobby, and in some cases sports. With this in mind, I have decided to research a discourse community that satisfies all the six categories described by John Swales. Through his definition of a discourse community it is easier to break down and explain a discourse community very clearly just as Sean Branick. Branick studied the community of coaches and proved it as a discourse community satisfying every aspect of Swales’ definition of a discourse community.

For my midterm project I have decided to study the South Bronx United Soccer community, specifically the SBU 93- Sonics, my old soccer team when I was 14 years old. I find it very interesting to study this community and what has made it become successful over time. The main shared goal as a team, including the coach, is to win games. However, just as Branick described, there are specific goals for each member that forms part of this community. There is a goal for the captain of the team, the coach of the team, the defenders, midfielders, offense, the goal keeper, and the substitutes. Communication is also essential to soccer in general as well as in other sports. Having built communication in a community leads to success. The strategy notebook, or as my coach would call it back in the days, the key, is a type of genre used in this community. Moreover, the exchange of information can be done through communication and building relationships between members. Many terminologies also form part of this soccer community (many of them will be discusses in my midterm project). With this in mind, all these members based on their performance as a team carry the expertise regarding their specific roles in this community.

I am collecting most of my information from their website and reading posts from their facebook page. There are other websites about the Sonics that can be useful for my research as well. In addition, since I am part of this community, and I was involved during their first year of appearance, I am using my experience as a source of information to complete my research. In any case, I can always contact my coach for further information required for my midterm project.

As of now, I have not yet encountered any type of difficulty that prevented me from shaping an outline for my midterm assignment. Knowing more information about the new members of this community might not be too difficult; after all we share one common goal, which is to play soccer.

I want to prove that the community I am studying is a discourse community. Based on my research on the Sonics, I have come to a better understanding of the functions of my old soccer team. Although we gave each other nicknames as part of our terminology used in this community but they reflected on the task we were to perform on the field, and at our practice hours (terminologies will be discussed in my midterm project).

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