Document Type

Article

Date

12-2010

Embargo Period

1-20-2013

Keywords

public hearings, public participation, deliberation, zoning conflict, Wal-Mart, environmental group, metadiscourse, accountability, discursive analysis.

Language

English

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | Communication | Speech and Rhetorical Studies

Description/Abstract

During a contentious public hearing on a zoning change for Wal-Mart, participants at times moved to a metadiscursive level with utterances such as, “expect to be listened to,” “I have a question,” or reading quotes of Town Board members from the newspaper. Such metadiscursive references allow participants to attempt to structure, or depart, from the public hearing format. Metadiscursive references also work to criticize their opponents’ speech or the process. Metadiscourse has the consequence of contextualizing the participation framework of the hearing as to topic, length of presentation, and mode of interaction. From a normative perspective, metadiscourse is used to reflect on the folk assumptions about communication as expressed by participants during the public hearing.

Additional Information

This article appears in the Journal of Communication, Vol. 60, Issue 4. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2010.01507.x/abstract

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