Language and Professional Identity by Keith Richards

Language and Professional Identity

Keith Richards
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This book explores the ways in which professional groups develop specific interactional procedures for conducting and representing their activities, all of which contribute to a distinctive collaborative identity. It highlights the drawbacks as well as the advantages of collaborative talk, pointing to ways of improving professional performance.

Publisher Description

Although much of the work we do is achieved through talk, we still understand relatively little about the nature of communication within professional groups. Drawing on extensive recordings and interviews from three different professional settings, Language and Professional Identity explores the fascinating interactional world of such groups, offering insights that will be relevant to trainers and managers as well as to the applied linguistics and communication specialists for whom it is primarily intended. Keith Richards reveals the subtle and surprising ways in which professional groups construct and reinforce shared identity and how this generates professional dividends - at considerable risk. Particular attention is paid to aspects of professional talk such as argument, anecdote and humour, all appropriated and exploited by collaborative groups in unexpected but systematic ways. As well as highlighting the drawbacks and advantages of collaborative talk, the book also points to ways of improving professional performance through improving interaction.

'The writing style is clear and accessible. Concepts are carefully explained and the transcripts are readable and illuminating. I would highly recommend this book to researchers and postgraduate students, and trainers and managers, who are interested in talk and collaboration at work.' - Janet Maybin, Applied Linguistics

Author Biography

Keith Richards is an Associate Professor at the University of Warwick, UK. His main research interests lie in the area of professional interaction and his recent publications include Qualitative Inquiry in TESOL, Applying Conversation Analysis (edited with Paul Seedhouse), and Professional Encounters in TESOL (edited with Sue Garton).

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Language and Professional Identity