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Parenting Groups as Discourse Community: Case Study

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In this day and age technology is the way of life. Everyone is always on their phone and never pays attention to the outside world. Even thought that is a major change in society, technology does have its perks. I have read an article by John Swales about discourse communities, and since then I never realized how many different communities I belonged to. Swales described discourse community as a group of people that have a common goal and share the same thoughts. Being on different groups on Facebook or on websites, I realized how many different communities there actually are. The discourse community that is in my life, is a parenting group that started on Facebook and has many recourses.

This community works well with Swales because it is a group of people with the same goal, while brainstorming ideas. Swales has six elements of how he describes a discourse community. Those elements are voluntary membership status, lexis, genres, feedback, communication, and common goals. Each and every one of the elements are important for a discourse community. Overall you need to have a common goal. If everyone in that group doesn’t have one, then there is no point to move on with it. Feedback is also another one that seems to be at the top of my list. If you’re not capable of giving other members your opinion and try to help them succeed, then I feel as if you shouldn’t be a part of that community as well.

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In my opinion a discourse community is about the same as John Swales, a group of people who want the same results and are willing to help each other get there. In the parenting groups I am a part of, we all have the same goal. We want our children to be happy and safe. Some of the members are first time parents and have no clue what they are doing. They then turn to this group of people for answers. Most of us want to help each other, but there are some people that are rude and act like they know everything. Communicating is key to success of any kind. Without communicating we would know what each other wants or what they are thinking. Within my discourse community we communicate a lot. To start off with we post on the group a ton! It starts out with a parent asking a question or making a comment then peers reply with their opinion on what to do if they were in their situation. The admin keeps track of all the negative comments and decides if that person needs to leave. Most of the time people are kind and friendly to everyone. Parents become friends from this.

I have actually gotten two close friends that have reached out to me from this discourse community. Most of the time parents can seem to help one another, but if for some reason they can’t there is a good website we get directed to. The website that gets suggested a lot is called Motherly. That website has anything and everything that you could possibly want to know. Within the group there are hundreds of people with opinions and you have to pick and choose what you agree with and willing to try. Not everyone agrees but it’s helpful that so many people want to help. Within the communication there is terminology that you may not understand at first! A couple abbreviations are TCC, CS, LO, BF (Trying to Conceive, Breastfeeding, Little one, Cesarean section). You learn what each of these mean and become familiar. To be a member, you have to answer a series of questions in order to be accepted. The main rule to get into this group is to have a child. There is no age limit, but you have to have to have one or be expecting. Other than that, you get to choose to be in this group. Like Swales had said being born into it is common but with this case it’s all voluntary. Each person plays their own part. Everyone in the group has to be active or they aren’t able to stay. There is a hand full of people who monitor the group, of any person who lied about having kids, or if they’re being rude to other members. This parenting group is a huge part of my life. Each member has made an impact on my life and I couldn’t be more thankful. Like I said before it works well with Swales definition of discourse community. I am a part of so many discourse communities that I never realized. Most of what Swales idea of a discourse community is, and what my discourse community is, are about the same with a few tweaks here and there.

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Parenting Groups as Discourse Community: Case Study. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 4, 2024, from
“Parenting Groups as Discourse Community: Case Study.” Edubirdie, 14 Jul. 2022,
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Parenting Groups as Discourse Community: Case Study [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jul 14 [cited 2024 Mar 4]. Available from:
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