Negotiating proximity in professional and popular science
Hyland, Ken (2008) Negotiating proximity in professional and popular science. In: InterLAE Conference 2008, Universidad de Zaragoza, Jaca, Spain, Dec 11-13, 2008. Published in: InterLAE Conference Abstracts p. 4.Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://www.unizar.es/interlae/InterLAE_Conference_...
The view of academic writing as an objective and faceless kind of discourse is now dead and buried. Replacing it is a view which sees academic discourse as a rhetorical activity involving interactions between writers and readers; a site where academics don’t just offer a view of the world, but negotiate a credible account of themselves and their work by claiming solidarity with readers, evaluating ideas and acknowledging alternative views. Beyond this, of course, writers must also display who they are and construct a convincing argument through a range of disciplinary membershiping conventions which establish proximity with readers. I use the term proximity to refer to a writer’s control of rhetorical features which display both collegial authority as a disciplinary expert and a personal position towards issues in an unfolding text.
Proximity involves responding to context of the text
and the readers who form part of that context, textually
constructing both the writer and the reader as people with similar understandings and goals. In practical terms this means that writers must create texts which represent themselves, their material and their readers in ways which are most likely to meet their readers’ expectations. In other words, proximity entails taking into account participants’ likely objections, background knowledge, rhetorical expectations and purposes. It is how academics accomplish interaction in their writing. In this paper I explore some of the ways this is done in
two very different genres: science research papers and popular science articles. Comparing key features from these contexts, I show how different language choices are employed to negotiate academic claims and construct proximity with different audiences.
|Item Type:||Conference Item (Keynote)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Centre for Applied Linguistics|
|Journal or Publication Title:||InterLAE Conference Abstracts|
|Publisher:||University of Zaragoza|
|Official Date:||13 December 2008|
|Page Range:||p. 4|
|Status:||Not Peer Reviewed|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
|Version or Related Resource:||A version of this item was also presented as an invited seminar at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Dec 16, 2008.|
|Conference Paper Type:||Keynote|
|Title of Event:||InterLAE Conference 2008|
|Type of Event:||Conference|
|Location of Event:||Universidad de Zaragoza, Jaca, Spain|
|Date(s) of Event:||Dec 11-13, 2008|
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