A Definition and Functions of a Discourse Community

A discourse community refers to a group of persons who comprise a public goal. This may be in terms of social, economic, or political enhancement. Depending on the goals set forth by the discourse community, their organization and inner workings also differ. The discourse community in question involves one whose members are geared towards economic development.

In today’s ever-shrinking job market, there is a need for fiscal discourse communities. The community in question functions as a financial support system for those in the lower middle class and low-income portions of the community. As such, they benefit greatly from it.

Observation of the discourse community, while they had convened, revealed several key elements of their group. These include the fact that the discourse community usually comprises members of the same locale. It is exceedingly difficult to observe members who are from far away join within a discourse community, particularly a financially inclined one. Proximity to one another provides the community with some conveniences, such as the ease of convening, the ease of planning for and executing plans as the members are always available for oversight of the project, the ease of replacement of members who are no longer committed to the community and such.

During their meetings, it was evident that the discourse community had their own organizational hierarchy. This was established during annual election meetings where the officials would be elected from the majority population. The officials performed, among others, clerical duties, accounting duties, and managerial duties. As such, persons who were selected for the various roles synonymous with these roles had to possess knowledge in the concerned fields. This ensured the discourse community had a smooth system of governance which was comprised of competent officials and not simply people who did not have the skills to effectively manage the community affairs.

An interview held with one member of the discourse community proved very enlightening. When asked whether or not the economic discourse community was beneficial to them, they concurred with this completely. Citing several reasons for the same, such as reduced risk owing to the various persons who comprised the discourse community, and as such, any risk they undertook was equally shared among them, as it would in a partnership. This, in turn, meant that the members of the discourse community had more confidence to try new economic ventures without the risk of failure and financial ruin. Furthermore, the interview included a question on how the member came to find out about the discourse community. The member revealed that such communities are often spread through word of mouth as they have a finite number of members. In this respect, the advertisement or marketing of the economic discourse community would result in a large influx of persons, for which the community could not handle, or be effectively managed.

An evaluation was conducted of the economic discourse community using Swale’s six characteristics of discourse communities. Following this, the following was arrived at: The shared goal of the community in question is the financial liberation of its members. To this end, its sole purpose for existing is enabling its members to attain financial wellbeing. The economic discourse community, founded in the early 21st century, was initiated in an attempt to provide credit facilities to the members.

However, with its growth, both in terms of its membership as well as its financial capability, it became necessary to morph it into a form of the investment group. This, however, meant that several changes had to be enacted, such as the establishment of the various sections such as the managerial, and accountancy segments. In its current capacity, the discourse community is concerned with the identification of lucrative investment opportunities, the pooling together of the necessary resources for the exploration of the same, and the dissemination of information to its members concerning its operation. As such, it has aided several community members in the achievement of financial stability.

Members of the economic discourse community, often communicate with one another, through means of telephone calls and text messages. Upon further investigation, it was unveiled that several years past, there was the suggestion that the group shift towards the online platform of communication by use of email rather than mobile telephony. This, however, did not take as the discourse community comprises of persons of different academic and technological prowess.

In this respect, not all of them were conversant with computers and the internet, a fact which dampened efforts aimed at the transfer of the community’s communication to an online platform. The discourse community also included members of divergent age groups, which also became a factor in the decision of the model of communication to be employed.

The main purpose of communication within the financially geared discourse community is the enhancement of their economic capability. Communication is key towards the running and optimization of any community or entity. As such, members of the discourse community are kept abreast of the happenings of the group, a fact which means that information flows freely through the discourse community. As such, managerial and accounting decisions are often reasoned as they will be communicated to the rest for scrutiny.

Communication can sometimes be regarded are comprising a genre, particularly when it recurs a considerable number of times. In light of this, the discourse community had some communication which could be regarded as comprising specific genres, such as summons to the annual meeting, or monthly communication on the progress of the ventures set out by the community. The community does not comprise any specialized communication instances as communication is kept formal in order to enable every member to comprehend its meaning.

The discourse community, as is the case with other groups, comprises ‘old timers’, or members who have been part of the same for a substantial amount of time, as well as newcomers who are relatively green to the entire process. In this respect, newcomers are provided information, tutorage and mentoring by the more experienced members, and are brought up to speed concerning the communication of the community. This is done during a week after their addition to the discourse community and it aids in the assurance of the perpetual existence of the fiscally directed discourse community.

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