Is talking work doing work?
DOI link for Is talking work doing work?
Is talking work doing work? book
Workplace Sociolinguistics grew exponentially in the ’80s and the ’90s. From scattered research groups and the workplace as a(nother) domain for linguistic research, it evolved to a research field addressing how individuals operate in different local linguistic, national, organizational, occupational and team contexts and turned a critical gaze to the workplace as a site of struggle where power hierarchies are negotiated, perpetuated and (sometimes successfully) challenged. Workplace Sociolinguists have shown that talking work is a critical part of enacting professional roles and responsibilities.
We focus on a core workplace activity, namely decision making, and we show how it is done in the context of the iconic business email. We pay special attention to the way formality and use of global and local languages are negotiated between employees with varying professional roles, expertise, hierarchical status and years of experience.
Our data shows that language is strategically used to include or exclude access to decision making processes. A “business language” is a context-specific set of resources negotiated between workplace communities and a mechanism for claiming, projecting and resisting group membership.