Negotiating Community

Affiliation and Systemic Functional Linguistics - Negotiating Community - Yaegan Doran

Yaegan Doran [+-]
University of Sydney
Yaegan Doran is a Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and Research Fellow in the LCT Centre for Knowledge-Building at the University of Sydney. His research focuses on language, semiosis, knowledge and education from the perspectives of Systemic Functional Linguistics and Legitimation Code Theory, spanning the interdisciplinary fields of educational linguistics, multimodality, and language and identity.
J.R. Martin [+-]
University of Sydney
J R Martin is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Sydney. His research interests include systemic theory, functional grammar, discourse semantics, register, genre, multimodality and critical discourse analysis, focussing on English and Tagalog - with special reference to the transdisciplinary fields of educational linguistics and social semiotics.
Michele Zappavigna [+-]
University of New South Wales
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Michele Zappavigna is a Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. As a linguist, her primary focus is on exploring the language of microblogging and social media. Her research in this area investigates discursive patterns in social media texts and corpora.


In this book we argue that questions of identity can be usefully pursued from the perspective of affiliation – suggesting that persona have to be understood as repertoires of values which align speakers as members of social groups. It follows from this social perspective that most of us enact multiple persona by way of membering ourselves with one or another community ¬– where community is understood in general terms as involving two or more individuals, who share bonds, across a range of levels of affiliation (as couples, families, friends, tradies, colleagues, team mates, fans, believers, citizens, comrades, allies and so on). We developed this communal perspective on identity from two perspectives –allocation and alignment. The allocation perspective considers the distribution of the semiotic resources of a culture to one or another bond network, both in terms of what resource are made available and predispositions for using those that are ¬– semiotic repertoires. The affiliation perspective considers the constellations of bonds that align persona as members of communities – their belonging. Work on allocation in SFL has been ably pursued from a quantitative perspective, especially in the work of Hasan and her colleagues (who were inspired by Bernstein's initiatives). We would encourage this work to continue, taking a wider range of discourse semantic variables into account and drawing on computational parsing tools as they evolve. Work on affiliation in SFL has tended to be pursued from a qualitative perspective, taking into account the range of variables in play in social interaction (a feature of our own work). We would also encourage this work to continue, taking into account a wider range of registers and the communities negotiated therein. In relation to both perspectives, further development of the concept of iconisation is urgently required – so that we can better anchor research in the totems communities rally around (their gurus, icons, flags, colours, sacred texts etc.) and the ceremonies through which they ritually commune.

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Doran, Yaegan; Martin, J.R. ; Zappavigna, Michele. Negotiating Community. Affiliation and Systemic Functional Linguistics - Negotiating Community. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Oct 2024. ISBN 9780000000000. Date accessed: 08 Jun 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.41298. Oct 2024

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