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date: 10 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses some of the early approaches to the study of language in the workplace by presenting how work as an activity is conceptualized within a conversational analysis, as well as from a community of practice perspective. Other approaches that have been important in the field include interactional research, which has been directed to unveiling forms of discrimination and social inequalities in work contexts, and the tradition of oral and written business discourse. The chapter also covers some of the core issues and topics on language and work, with examples that illustrate the sorts of questions and methodological approaches that are at the forefront of current research. Ideas and challenges for future research highlight the importance of the twenty-first-century context where globalization and the new economic order contribute to shaping ways language is used in work settings primarily connected to a service economy where talk plays a primary role.

Keywords: language, work, globalization, service economy, workplace

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