Skip to main content

What Is Professional in a Professional Magazine? Using Corpus Analysis to Identify Specializedness in Professional Discourse and Culture

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Good Data in Business and Professional Discourse Research and Teaching

Part of the book series: Communicating in Professions and Organizations ((PSPOD))

Abstract

Over the last years, professional discourse analysis has focused on diverse linguistic and discursive data like business genres, oral interactions or digital tools, in various professional contexts (Gunnarsson, The construction of professional discourse. Routledge, 2014; Alessi and Jacobs, The ins and outs of business and professional discourse research: Reflections on interacting with the workplace. New York: Springer, 2016). However, it seems that so far, rather little attention has been paid to the specialized nature of professional domains. This chapter seeks to compensate for this lack of attention to the “specializedness” of professional discourse by introducing data from two professional magazines. Each magazine is published by an established professional association and focuses on the professional aspect of a specialized domain: records and information management for Information Management (IM) and corporate ethics for Compliance and Ethics Professional (CEP). In order to characterize “specializedness” in professional magazines, we designed two parallel corpora (IM and CEP) which were then used as “mirror” datasets for the quantitative study of linguistic features such as semantic fields, terminology and specialized phraseology. Our results show that there are two main aspects to specializedness in professional magazines. On the one hand, both corpora present a similar semantic configuration in that all general semantic categories were identified in very similar proportions. The two corpora also share a similar set of cognitive metaphors denoting the world of business in general. This sort of shared features was defined as “low specializedness”. On the other hand, striking differences were observed in terminology and in how some terms were apparently shared, their collocational patterns being radically different. These specific features were defined as “high specializedness”. As such, although professional magazines are mostly targeted to practitioners, they also represent an insightful entry point into a profession, allowing scholars and practitioners to become familiar with the specialized milieu, discourse and culture of a given professional community (Resche, Quelques pistes pour aborder la notion d’engagement dans les domaines de l’économie, de la finance et dans le monde de l’entreprise du point de vue de la recherche en anglais de spécialité. ASp, 70, 107–126, 2016). By showing that quantitative analyses of linguistic features can be used to identify prototypical aspects of professional specialization—whether in the form of high or low specializedness—, this paper is part of the reflection on data in professional discourse research and training, as the analysis proposed in the chapter could be extended to other existing or emerging professions and/or other genre sets.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Notes

  1. 1.

    For more information on each profession, see Section “Building Parallel Corpora in Specialized Professional Discourse”.

  2. 2.

    https://www.arma.org/page/MissionAndVision, accessed 08/15/2019

  3. 3.

    https://www.corporatecompliance.org/about-society-corporate-compliance-and-ethics, accessed 08/15/2019

  4. 4.

    In this chapter, specificity is a rather technical notion which focuses on the differences between corpora. For example, when it comes to identifying specific lexicon, specificity overlaps with keyness. Specializedness , on the other hand, is considered as the general phenomenon which includes all sorts of cultural, discursive and linguistic data.

References

  • Abrahamson, E. (1996). Management fashion. Academy of Management Review, 21(1), 254–285.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Adams, T. L. (2010). Profession: a useful concept for sociological analysis?. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue canadienne de sociologie, 47(1), 49–70.

    Google Scholar 

  • Alessi, G. (2016). Standardizing the language of corporate internal investigative reports: Linguistic perspectives on professional writing practices. In G. Aless & G. Jacobs (Eds.), The ins and outs of business and professional discourse research (pp. 225–245). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Alessi, G., & Jacobs, G. (2016). The ins and outs of business and professional discourse research: Reflections on interacting with the workplace. New York: Springer.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Benedetto, C. (2017). Les milieux professionnels et leur régulation: diversité terminologique et complexité organisationnelle. ASp, 71, 7–24.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bhatia, V. (1993). Analysing genre: Language use in professional setting. London and New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Briguglio, C. (2016). Gathering linguistic data from multinational companies: Inter-cultural communication in the workplace. In G. Alessi & G. Jacobs (Eds.), The ins and outs of business and professional discourse research (pp. 81–101). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Buhai, S. L. (2012). Profession: A definition. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 40, 241.

    Google Scholar 

  • Carroll, C. (2010). Should firms circumvent or work through the news media? Public Relations Review, 36, 278–280.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Charret-Del Bove, M., Millot, P., & Wozniak, S. (2017). Éditorial: Anglais de spécialité et milieux professionnels. ASp. la revue du GERAS, (71), 2–5.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cogan, M. L. (1955). The problem of defining a profession. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 297, 105–111.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Demont, G. (2013). L’éthique professionnelle peut-elle se penser au singulier ? Le cas des formations dans le secteur de l’aide à la personne dépendante. Recherche et pratiques pédagogiques en langues de spécialité. https://doi.org/10.4000/apliut.3773.

  • Domenec, F., & Resche, C. (Eds.). (2018). La Fonction argumentative de la métaphore dans les discours spécialisés. Berne: Peter Lang.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gledhill, C. (2011). The ‘lexicogrammar’ approach to analysing phraseology and collocation in ESP texts. ASp, 59, 5–23.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gledhill, C., & Kübler, N. (2016). What can linguistic approaches bring to English for specific purposes. ASp, 69, 65–95.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gnazzo, P. J. (2011). The chief ethics and compliance officer: A test of endurance. Business and Society Review, 116, 533–553.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Goffman, E. (1967). Interaction ritual: Essays on face-to-face interaction. Oxford: Aldine.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grafström, M., & Windell, K. (2011). The role of infomediaries: CSR in the business press during 2000–2009. Journal of Business Ethics, 103, 221.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Greenwood, R., Suddaby, R., & Hinings, C. R. (2002). Theorizing change: The role of professional associations in the transformation of institutionalized fields. Academy of Management Journal, 45, 58–80.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gumperz, J. J. (1982). Discourse strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Gunnarsson, B.-L., Linell, P., & Nordberg, B. (Eds.). (2014). The construction of professional discourse. Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hall, C., Sarangi, S., & Slembrouck, S. (2014). Moral construction in social work discourse. In B.-L. Gunnarsson, P. Linell, & B. Nordberg (Eds.), The construction of professional discourse (pp. 265–291). London and New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hellgren, B., Löwstedt, J., Puttonen, L., Tienari, J., Vaara, E., & Werr, A. (2002). How issues become (re) constructed in the media: Discursive practices in the AstraZeneca merger. British Journal of Management, 13, 123–140.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hoffman, R. (1985). Some implications of metaphor for philosophy and psychology of science. In The ubiquity of metaphor (pp. 327–380). John Benjamins.

    Google Scholar 

  • Huntington, M. J. (1956). Sociology of professions, 1945–55. Sociology in the United States of America, Paris, UNESCO.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hydén, L.-C. (2014). The institutional narrative as drama. In B.-L. Gunnarsson, P. Linell, & B. Nordberg (Eds.), The construction of professional discourse (pp. 245–264). London and New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Isani, S. (2004). Compétence de culture professionnelle: définition, degrés et didactisation. ASp, 43–44, 5–21.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jacobs, G. (1999). Self-reference in press releases. Journal of Pragmatics, 31, 219–242.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lazzeretti, C. (2016). Exhibition press announcements: An evolving or dissolving genre? In G. M. Alessi & G. Jacobs (Eds.), The ins and outs of business and professional discourse research (pp. 204–224). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lønsmann, D. (2016). Negotiating positionality in ethnographic investigations of workplace settings: Student, consultant or confidante? In G. M. Alessi & G. Jacobs (Eds.), The ins and outs of business and professional discourse research (pp. 13–36). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • MacColl, J. (1997). The professional magazine and parallel publishing. D-Lib Magazine, 3–2. Retrieved from http://dlib.org/dlib/february97/02maccoll.html

  • Mémet, M., & Hillion, L. (2004). Éditorial. ASp, 43–44, 1–3.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Miller, C. R. (1984). Genre as social action. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 70, 151–167.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Millot, P. (2019). Retrieving the specialised substance from a corpus of professional discourse in the field of records and information management. ASp, 76, 49–70.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mishler, E. G. (2014). The interactional construction of narratives in medical and life-history interviews. In B.-L. Gunnarsson, P. Linell, & B. Nordberg (Eds.), The construction of professional discourse (pp. 223–244). London and New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nijholt, J. J., Heusinkveld, S., & Benders, J. (2014). Handling management ideas: Gatekeeping, editors and professional magazines. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 30, 470–484.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Peffers, K., & Ya, T. (2003). Identifying and evaluating the universe of outlets for information systems research: Ranking the journals. Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application, 5, 6.

    Google Scholar 

  • Percebois, J. (2006). Les communautés discursives à l’interface du linguistique et du disciplinaire. Langues et cultures: une histoire d’interface, 67–89.

    Google Scholar 

  • Petit, M. (2010). Le discours spécialisé et le spécialisé du discours: Repères pour l’analyse du discours en anglais de spécialité. E-rea. Revue électronique d’études sur le monde anglophone 8–1. https://doi.org/10.4000/erea.1400.

  • Peynaud, C. (2015). Les mots du journalisme: de la terminologie à la culture professionnelle. ASp, 68, 25–44.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rayson, P. (2008). From key words to key semantic domains. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 13, 519–549.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Resche, C. (1999). De l’utilité d’une approche syntaxique en langue spécialisée: exemple de l’anglais économique. ASp. la revue du GERAS, (23–26), 121–138.

    Google Scholar 

  • Resche, C. (2003). Décryptage d’un genre particulier: Les communiqués de presse de la Banque Centrale américaine. ASp, 39–40, 21–35.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Resche, C. (2013). Economic terms and beyond: How researchers in specialised varieties of English can benefit from focusing on terms. Berne: Peter Lang.

    Google Scholar 

  • Resche, C. (2016). Quelques pistes pour aborder la notion d’engagement dans les domaines de l’économie, de la finance et dans le monde de l’entreprise du point de vue de la recherche en anglais de spécialité. ASp, 70, 107–126.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Saber, A. (2016). Editorial: Immanuel Kant and ESP’s new frontier. ASp, 69, 1–6.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sacks, H. (1972). An initial investigation of the usability of conversational data for doing sociology. In D. Sudnow (Ed.), Studies in social interaction (pp. 31–73). New York: The Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Saks, M. (2012). Defining a profession: The role of knowledge and expertise. Professions and Professionalism, 2–1. https://doi.org/10.7577/pp.v2i1.151.

  • Sampson, S. (2016). The “right way”: moral capitalism and the emergence of the corporate ethics and compliance officer. Journal of Business Anthropology, 65–86.

    Google Scholar 

  • Scott, M., & Tribble, C. (2006). Textual patterns: Key words and corpus analysis in language education (Vol. 22). Amsterdam and New York: John Benjamins Publishing.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Stubbs, M. (2010). Three concepts of keywords. Keyness in Texts, 21–42.

    Google Scholar 

  • Swales, J. (1996). Occluded genres in the academy: The case of the submission letter. In E. Ventola & A. Mauranen (Eds.), Academic writing (pp. 45–58). Amsterdam and New York: John Benjamins Publishing.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Swales, J. (2016). Reflections on the concept of discourse community. ASp, 69, 7–19.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Torstendahl, R. (2005). The need for a definition of ‘profession’. Current Sociology, 53, 947–951.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vaara, E., Tienari, J., & Laurila, J. (2006). Pulp and paper fiction: On the discursive legitimation of global industrial restructuring. Organization Studies, 27, 789–813.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Van Der Yeught, M. (2016). A proposal to establish epistemological foundations for the study of specialised languages. ASp, 69, 41–63.

    Google Scholar 

  • Van Der Yeught, M. (2017). L’étude de cas en anglais financier et ses fondements théoriques. Les Langues Modernes. Retrieved from https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01632980

  • Van Der Yeught, M. (2018). Studying the diachronic dimension of specialised languages through an intentional approach to their social ontology. Textes et contextes, 13. Retrieved from http://preo.u-bourgogne.fr/textesetcontextes/index.php?id=2329

  • Vergne, J.-P. (2011). Toward a new measure of organizational legitimacy: Method, validation, and illustration. Organizational Research Methods, 14, 484–502.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wierzbicka, A. (1997). Understanding cultures through their key-words. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wolf, J., & Rosenberg, T. (2012). How individual scholars can reduce the rigor-relevance gap in management research. Business Research, 5, 178–196.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zavyalova, A., Pfarrer, M., Reger, R. K., & Shapiro, D. L. (2012). Managing the message: The effects of firm actions and industry spillovers on media coverage following wrongdoing. Academy of Management Journal, 55, 1079–1101.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Fanny Domenec .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Domenec, F., Millot, P. (2021). What Is Professional in a Professional Magazine? Using Corpus Analysis to Identify Specializedness in Professional Discourse and Culture. In: Jacobs, G., Decock, S. (eds) Good Data in Business and Professional Discourse Research and Teaching. Communicating in Professions and Organizations. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-61757-8_3

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-61757-8_3

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-61756-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-61757-8

  • eBook Packages: EducationEducation (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics