Language, Bureaucracy and Social Control (Hardback) book cover

Language, Bureaucracy and Social Control

By Srikant Sarangi, Stefan Slembrouck

Routledge

256 pages

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Description

Language, Bureaucracy and Social Control explores the varying inter-relationships between language, forms of bureaucratic organisation and social control. The text provides a detailed examination of the discursive dimensions of some of the key techniques of modern power: the 'productive' surveillance practices of administrative and public service institutions. Special attention is paid to recent developments within the state domain and the private economy such as the introduction of consumerism and promotional practices in welfare institutions, and the spread of bureaucratisation in contexts such as banking and education.

Table of Contents

Foreword

Acknowledgements

1. Language, bureaucracy and social control

Bureaucracy

Bureacracy and social control

Language and bureaucracy

Synopsis

2. Bureaucratisation and debureaucratisation in contemporary society

Introduction: what discourse practices are construed as bureaucratic?

Bureaucratisation and debureaucratisation

Changing discourse practices as action and as process

The analysis of language use

The language-situation dynamic

Social control as an area of struggle

Conclusion

3. The pragmatics of information exchange in bureaucratic discourse

Introduction: information exchange as a focus of study

Bureaucrats seeking information and clients giving it

Interpreting information exchange in pragmatic terms

Reversing the roles: clients seeking information and institutions avoiding giving information

Conclusion: regulated information exchange and social control

4. Role behaviour in discourse

Introduction

Modes of talk and multiple role behaviour

Discourse roles

Shifting role relationships and the construction of social identities

Role perception in discourse

Conclusion

5. The client's perspective: clients as citizens

Introduction

Challenging the inhuman face of bureaucracy

Creating an edge over the institution

Talking to bureaucrats in order to maintain non-clienthood

Client's response to institutional failure: the case of lost mail

Conclusion

6. The bureaucrat's perspective: citizens as clients

Introduction

Alarming the client

Maintaining bureaucracy through official documents: forms and leaflets

Conclusion

7. The discourse of mediation: bureaucrats' dilemma and clients' wisdom

Introduction

Social workers attemting to redress the imbalance

Counselling institutions

Institutional monopolies over mediation

Conclusion: socio-economic struggles over multi-tier bureaucracy

8. Instead of a conclusion

Bibliography

Appendices

Index

About the Series

Real Language Series

This is a sociolinguistic series about the relationship between language, society and social change. Books in the series draw on natural language data from a wide range of social contexts. The series takes a critical approach to the subject, challenging current orthodoxies, and dealing with familiar topics in new ways.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAN000000
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / General
LAN009050
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Sociolinguistics