After reading The Concept of Discourse Community By John Swales. I’ve found that a discourse community I belong to would be veganism. Veganism has all six of the discourse community characteristics:
1) “A discourse community has a broadly agreed upon set of goals”
There are at least three goals in the vegan community, at least each person will agree upon one, but most agree on all of them. Some of are goals are:
- To stay healthy(however, you can still be unhealthy as a vegan)
- to help the environment (animal agricultural a major cause of global warming)
- To improve the live of animals
- Use organic cleaners (usually 100% vegans)
- Wear and use non animal products (usually 100% vegans)
2) “A discourse community has mechanisms of intercommunication among its members”
The media has been our main way of communicating. From documentaries like What the Health to things as simple as YouTube videos and blogging. Since the number of vegans in the world is small(but increasing rapidly in the U.S). It isn’t often that many vegans get to get together face to face. Most of us are spread out across the world so the media is really are only way of committing on a daily basis.
3) “A discourse community uses its participatory mechanisms primarily to provide information and feedback”
Feedback is what most vegans thrive on. Since we don’t follow the crowd that makes make the majority of us open-minded people. On YouTube there are debates on what kind of vegan diet it best such as “high carb low fat” or “high fat low carb”. Most people comment, but every once in a while other vegans channels will make a video about what the other channel said and tell their viewers what they think.
4) “A discourse community utilizes and hence possesses one or more genres in the communicative furtherance go its aims.”
There are plenty of topics! With the main ones talking about diet, obviously. However, sometimes vegans that have been vegan for a while might discuss where others can find clothing that doesn’t have animal products. Other topics might be finding organic cleansers, but I have personally only found that discussed in vegan books. I have seen soon YouTube channels discuss what kind of processed foods are vegan. (Oreos are vegan, I was so surprised to find that out)
5) “In addition to owning genres, a discourse community has acquired some specific lexis”
Vegans do have some form of lexis, however, we keep it simple so others who are curious about it might understand it relatively quick. We use the term, “high carb, low fat” and that means a diet that is high in carbohydrates, but low in fat. Some vegans try to do a “high fat low carb” diet. Personally, I think the high carb, low fat is best. However, vegans do not normally mention that they usually put fruits and vegetables before carbohydrates and fat when they say, “high carb low fat.” They really mean eating mostly carbs and less fat while eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Then there are others who go, “raw vegan.” A raw vegan diet is a diet of usually just fruits and vegetables that aren’t cooked. “100% vegans,” are vegans that not only choose a vegan diet, but vegans who use oranges cleansers, wear non animal products, and do not have any animal products in their household. However, most vegans never go 100% since it is so hard to achieve.
6) “A discourse community has a threshold level of members with a suitable degree of relevant content and discoursal expertise.”
Some people have been vegan for decades, but seems that not a whole lot of people have been vegan their whole lives. The majority of us are not experts on this lifestyle -yet. Veganism in the U.S has risen over 500% in the past few years, so even though I do believe quite a handful of people will weave in and out of this community. I do think there are novice vegans out there who plan on learning more about the diet and don’t want to give it up.
People like me.