Deborah Minter?s conference paper (2000) demonstrates how language can constitute both professionals and the people they work with (or for). Her work also shows how language can accomplish an acknowledged task while creating relationships that are not openly acknowledged.
In this assignment, you are expected to use Minter?s approach to discourse analysis by considering how other documents construct the people involved and their relationship.
1) Find an example of a document that one group uses to accomplish a task in relation to another group ? doctors to patients, landlords to tenants, lawyers to clients, teachers to students, etc.
2) Read the document closely and present it in your essay as carefully and completely as you can.
3) Explain not only what the document says and how it is used, but whether it is written so as to construct the people involved and their relationship. Pay special attention to the language of the document and its form, whether anything is missing from this exchange between parties involved, and/or whether there are some hidden motivations.
4) Reflect and formulate an opinion with regards to the issues Minter raises in her paper: are they unique to the discourse of doctors doing their work in a litigious society or are they commonplace features of any formal exchange?