Professional Identity Construction

Cabin Crew Discourse

Authored by: Barbara Clark

The Routledge Handbook of Language in the Workplace

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138915855
eBook ISBN: 9781315690001
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter focuses on professional identity construction using the example of cabin crew, a historically underrepresented group in linguistic anthropology research. Using data from incident reports submitted to a US government agency and posts to Internet discussion forums, and drawing on analytic methods from interactional sociolinguistics and ethnography of communication, the chapter seeks to understand how notions of realness, authenticity, and artifice emerge from and contribute to the construction of a professional cabin crew identity. Cabin crew draw on communicative competence, situationally appropriate knowledge, and social semiotics to signal to their audiences that they are professional cabin crew.

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