This book contributes to our understanding of genre theory, communities of practice (COP) and workplace writing. The analysis of a business letter genre considers theories from applied linguistics, psychology and rhetoric. Textual analyses and an ethnographic approach based on COP provide a subtle and detailed analysis of a particular and distinct workplace and the writing at the centre of its practice.The tension between stasis and change in regular textual practice is explored, and the genre is demonstrated to be both stable and dynamic simultaneously. This leads the author to propose that traditional dichotomies within the genre debate (social action/textual analysis, fixed/dynamic genres) should be replaced by a relationship of duality involving all elements at the same time.The notion of communicative purpose tends to assume that purpose is primarily the provision of information. Here, relationships are equally important and moves and acts are identified in part on the basis of the relationship set up between writer and reader.This work will be of interest to those involved in analysing non-academic texts, and those considering organisational change in writing styles.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/paul_weldon/3/