Title

Shifting practices and emerging patterns: telephone service encounters in Shanghai

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2012

Publication Source

Language in Society

Volume

41

Issue

4

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

This study explores the dynamic nature of language in context, utilizing two sets of comparable Chinese discourse data of telephone service encounters collected in the same community a decade apart. It describes and characterizes current business practices and identifies shifts in discursive practices in light of the patterns observed in the past. Observed changes include constitutive components of the global structure, local realization of the structural elements and interaction dynamics as a result of changed, redefined contexts and realigned footings. I propose that observed shifts may represent and constitute in part the emergence, in the community, of the reconstruction, or reshaping, of a more distinctive telephone service encounter (TSE) spoken genre and related discursive features. With the adoption of more recognizable boundary markers, shifts in discursive features represent more directly telephone service encounters as channel specific institutional interaction between clients and representatives.

Keywords

Discourse analysis, service encounter, practice, telephone in business, China, spoken genre

Disciplines

Anthropological Linguistics and Sociolinguistics | Comparative and Historical Linguistics | Discourse and Text Linguistics | East Asian Languages and Societies | Politics and Social Change

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