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Omar (Adam) Elmaraghi 10/22/13 English 106 Michelle Parsons Discourse Communities During my junior and senior year

of my high school career, I was part of the school's soccer team that travelled across the Middle East and Europe to represent the school. For these two years, I was in an entirely new society during practices, matches and even classroom settings; I was in my own discourse community. A discourse community is a group of communicators with a common goal that adopts certain preferred ways of participating in public discussion.1 Many people would disagree with the fact that a sports team can be classified as a discourse community. However, based upon the Swales six criteria, a high school soccer team can most definitely be classified as such. This is due to the fact that the members of this community have a set of common goals by constantly trying to score goals and win games in order to eventually get the school's soccer team into the playoffs. The team also has mechanisms of intercommunication by using certain group chats to ensure there is a certain place the team can communicate together without any interference from those not on it. The most common method of communication used by the team is either a Facebook group chat, or through email; specifically Gmail. We uses participatory mechanisms in the sense that some set plays, such as penalties kicks and corner kicks, are taken based on whoever claims they want to take it, with seniority deciding any possible dispute that may arise. The team also uses genres in the
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communicative furtherance of its aims by using different communication methods depending on the result of the game. Furthermore, we have a specific lexis that is entirely based on soccer terminology and phrases, as well as a few made up by our coach so that the opposing team cannot comprehend our conversations. Finally, we have a threshold level of members of discoursal expertise as there are only a certain number of players available for each position, as well as there being one captain and a couple of co-captains. By satisfying the aforementioned six criteria of Swales, being in a high school soccer team can indeed be classified as being in a discourse community. Many people have the preconception that people in this discourse community often exhibited excessive flattery towards their captain in an attempt to play a more important role on the team. The topic that I will be researching is how people within this discourse community interact with their captain both during matches and practices, and outside soccer settings. I first joined the high school soccer team during my junior year and was named captain during my senior year. Being captain of the team required being an idol and a motivational figure to all my teammates. My teammates would look to me for guidance during difficult times of losses and to keep them collected and motivated when the team was winning. Not only would I lead by example on the pitch during matches and practices, but I would also lead by example as to social behavior due to being the person they always look up to. The research process to determine the social norms and behavior of this discourse community is a long, tedious process. Given the fact that my high school is back in Cairo, Egypt, it is very difficult to communicate with people who were with me in this discourse community during my high school career, and people who currently are in that discourse community. These people include my former teammates who were in my graduating class, my former teammates who are still continuing their high school careers and are on the soccer team again this year, new

members of the squad, the current captain of this year's squad, and the manager of the squad who coached me and this year's team. Due to being halfway across the world from most of these people who I will be conducting my research with, the opportunities available to me to talk to them in person are virtually nonexistent. However, this does not prevent me from gathering information from them. To the team members who I am very close to personally, I will be conducting my surveys and interviews for them via a Skype call. In total, I will be interviewing three of my former teammates via a Skype call in regards to the social behavior associated with our discourse community. In addition, I will be able to email members of the current squad who were not on my team last year. Finally, I will send a survey to the team's coach, who was also the coach for the team during both my years on it, via email in regards to the behavior and social traits he observes amongst us. The results of the survey and the multiple interviews I conducted over the course of a few days allowed me to gather data and analyze it to determine what people involved in this discourse community believed the relationship between team members and captain to be. In addition, further data was gathered based upon the communication I observed between team members and captain during a practice which I witnessed over a Skype video call. All teammates often use different speech discourse once they are playing a game or practicing by shouting at each other to ensure all members can hear each other from across the pitch. Based on the data gathered from my former team members who graduated with me claimed that they did not ever attempt to praise or flatter me in an attempt to get a larger role on the team. This information was gathered via the Skype calls with my close, personal friends, Luca Castradori2 and Daniel

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Tutwiler.3 However, the data gathered from a former teammate who was in the grade below mine via Skype call, Federico Maroli, differed with that aforementioned result. He claimed that I was a very intimidating figure and they only refused to disagree with me in fear of losing his place on the team.4 After watching the team practice over a Skype video call, I realized that the data I had already gathered agreed with what I was observing. The team members who were the same age as the captain did not attempt to over-flatter him, while the younger team members did at every chance possible. This agreed with the data gathered from the current team members who are on the current team via email. All of those in the same grade level as the captain claimed that this hypothesis was incorrect, while all of those younger than him supported its validity.5 Finally, the team's manager, who managed me last year as well, agreed with this hypothesis as he believed the younger team members looked up to the captain in hope that they themselves may be captain in future years.6 Based on all the results and data noted and stated, the claim that all team members over-praise and flatter their captain is only somewhat true, as this trait is only most common amongst the younger members of this discourse community.

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Works Cited 1. Discourse Community Definition. (n.d.).Discourse Community Definition. Retrieved November 2, 2013,
from http://shrike.depaul.edu/~jwhite7/discourseco

2. Castradori, Luca. Personal interview. 29 Oct. 2013. 3. Tutwiler, Daniel . Personal interview. 29 Oct. 2013. 4. Tutwiler, Daniel . Personal interview. 29 Oct. 2013. 5. High school, Soccer Team. Personal interview. 30 Oct. 2013. 6. Paul, Lee. Personal interview. 31 Oct. 2013.