Speech Act, Genres, And Activity Systems

1483 Words Dec 5th, 2016 6 Pages
Using Language to Set Standards

How has our society come to form the guidelines and rules which we follow in our everyday lives? How are these principles set? In Charles Bazerman’s article “Speech Acts, Genres, and Activity Systems”, he gives us better insight into how our own communities (towns, cities, states, and countries) form these rules. These rules are formed via speech acts and genres. Speech acts pave the way for what genres are, and genres from the rules our community sets. Before we understand what a speech act is, we have to understand what a social fact is. A social fact, as defined by Bazerman, is something that a community considers to be true. An example being that most people accept that Elvis is dead. However, social facts are not accepted by everyone. There still might be people in the world that believe Elvis is alive, and there are also people that don’t believe Neil Armstrong went to the moon. Bazerman describes a “speech act” as “meaningful social actions being accomplished through language” (367). These social actions mostly are about social facts, or used to make social facts. It is more or less how we communicate with each other. I believe this is the start of how we form the standards of which we live by. Communication has to be present in order for people in a community to be on the same page. Speech acts can be broken down further according to Bazerman. There are three steps to a speech act. The first step is locutionary.…

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