A Few (Skeptical) Notes on the Theoretical Ramifications of Genres in the Contemporary Public Space

Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 11 (1):3-17 (2015)
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Abstract

This paper is a tentative attempt to identify some basic-level conceptual and theoretical problems underlying the mainstream genre theory, which adversely affect the analysis of rapidly evolving, complex and hybrid genres in the modern communicative space. Having discussed these problems, I go on to I argue that the space of contemporary public communication should be viewed as not only an “analytic problem”, but also/rather a domain whose explorations could potentially revise the existing principles of genre theory. In particular, I suggest such explorations should focus on the conception of genres as abstractions, activators and realizers of context, flexible macrostructures, social field entities, assigners of interpersonal roles. Notwithstanding a possible advancement of genre theory resulting from this approach, I conclude that it is only a first and admittedly uncertain step in trying to establish a sound theoretical framework for communicative genres in the modern discourse space.

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