The Discourse of Negotiation: Studies of Language in the Workplace (Language & Communication Library)

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9780080424002: The Discourse of Negotiation: Studies of Language in the Workplace (Language & Communication Library)

This text is about how people in workplaces act in concert in attempts to decide upon agreeable courses of action. Such acts are glossed as "negotiation". Negotiations are not solely the domain of business leaders, politicians and diplomats, they are activities that permeate and uphold our daily lives, working lives included. This text takes the position that negotiation implies collective decision making, and in this sense, almost anything is potentially "negotiable", including obligations, information, decisions, services, status, territory and public image. Negotiation requires complex interaction with one's fellow actors, and the pursuance of potentially conflicting goals. Thus virtually all human activity provides a setting for the delicate process of negotiation. The question this book seeks to answer is: how are negotiations undertaken as discourse activities? The text provides detailed descriptions of the manifold instances of "negotiation" that occur in the modern workplace. It shows how discourse and context mutually configure and how people, as advertising agents, exporters, lawyers, travel agents, doctors and bureaucrats, carry out the work tasks they are paid to do.

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