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Zack Bergamini The Concept of Discourse Community Summary In this article John Swales discusses about discourse community.

He shows different definitions of the word. Swales then compare the discourse community with speech community. Swales definition of speech community is that its shared linguistic forms, shared regulative rules and shared cultural concepts. He then goes on to say that they are different and the two concepts are there to distinguish sociolinguistic grouping from a sociohetorical on. He also says that speech is centripetal and discourse is centrifugal. Swales propose six characteristics that are necessary to the discourse community. All six need to be included in order for it to be a discourse community. Swales talks a lot about his own community, the Hong Kong Study Circle or HKSC. This group is for people with the interest in and knowledge of the stamps of Hong Kong. This group is very diverse and they come from all over the world. Swales attempts to become a full member were not successful because of his linguistic approach. The HKSC also was genre specific, which was very important for it to be a discourse community. The HKSC actually had al the six criteria in order to be a discourse community, common goals, participatory mechanisms, information exchange, community specific genres, highly specialized terminology, and a high general level of expertise. However, they did not form a speech community. Swales continue to discuss the discourse communities and what are and what are not communities. It is ok to assimilate the community, you should sketch the boundaries, and you can deny the employment of a discourse community. Also, Swales takes his time to examine if academic classes are discourse groups. It seems unlikely when you first look, but it can be if they follow the six Analysis After reading this article by John Swales, I got an understanding of what a discourse community is. Before reading this I had no clue there was anything like this, but after reading this it makes a lot of sense. For the most part there are a lot of communities out there. Once I graduate college I can join multiple communities that I would never know they were communities until reading this article. I guess you can even be in a community in college as well. These discourse communities can be anywhere and anything if they follow the six characteristics that Swales discusses. I did find it kind of hard to understand though when I first read it. It was confusing because there were so many definitions and that it was very hard to define what a discourse community is. Although when Swales started to discuss his own discourse community, the Hong Kong Study Circle, I began to understand it much better. Maybe it was better that the journal was harder to understand because it is really open for more consideration. Swales talk about how academia and its classes are discourse community, and while that shocked me. It does make sense. Each class does have goal, they have their own genres, own terminology, you need expertise, you exchange information with classmates, and there are participatory mechanisms. So it is interesting to see that classes can be a discourse community, but it does not surprise me at all now that I have read his article. One thing I still have questions are the genres. I am guessing we will learn more

criteria. He said that its a utopian. It can be strong but have some cracks and it can be reviewed and researched forever. It can lose or gain consensus, but can also be divided as well.

about those in class, but it just seemed to be a confusing definition in the article. I am still not fully aware what they are, but when I do I am sure this will make even more sense. This article in general has shown me something I never knew. John Swales has some very interesting points especially at the end where he says that a discourse community can be ever researched and improved upon. Swales is a very smart man that is obviously quite the linguistic. Now I can be somewhat of a linguistic to my family and friends who do not know much or anything at all about discourse communities.

Works Cited: Swales, John. "The Concept of Discourse Community." Genre Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 21-32. Print.