The idea of the discourse community offers a kind of cross between linguistics and anthropology or related social sciences. Any set of people who use a common language can be described as a speech community. Technology is expanding the types of discourse in educational contexts.
A discursive community is usually defined as a community of people who use a particular type of language or discourse. Many different examples of discursive communities illustrate how universal the term is. It can describe a group of people with common interests, or a group of highly qualified scientists or technicians. Any group of people using a common language can be described as a discursive community.
The idea of a discursive community provides a kind of intersection of linguistics with anthropology or related social sciences. In the curriculum, teachers can give students assignments related to the analysis of these communities, either to study the actual discourse for linguistics, or to analyze how the language reflects the structure of the community. Students often start by defining a community that uses a kind of discourse, and then move on to find out what this common language means and why it is used.
Some idiomatic words help determine the type of common language that is used in the discursive community. Words such as “jargon” or “jargon” accurately describe the sets of words that are used in one of these common communities. Other more specific idiomatic terms, such as “tech talk” or “geek talk,” give examples of how people informally analyze a discursive community revolving around information technology.
Another example of a community using discourse is a group of readers of a particular scientific or academic journal. Some other kinds of words can be used to describe people involved in these professional or intellectual communities. In some cases, examples of these words in English are borrowed from other languages, such as Italian or Latin, for example: cognoscenti or literati.
In cases where discursive communities are less formal, it may be more difficult to define a common language that marks them as a whole. One common example is the recruitment of fans of a certain celebrity, whether it’s an athlete, musician or actor. Outsiders can often identify some of these common languages as being associated with “internal knowledge” or an unusual acquaintance with the details of the life of a celebrity, family, or environment.
Native English speakers have even come up with words for cases where certain types of internal knowledge are shared between people. For example, when those who are involved in a particular industry or area use certain types of language based on an elite understanding of that area, others often call it “inside baseball.” This idiomatic phrase basically means that the speakers communicate with each other with a certain privileged point of view that cannot be shared by outsiders.
In cases where discursive communities are less formal, it may be more difficult to specify the common language that marks them as a cohesive unit. A common example is a set of fans of a certain celebrity, whether it is an athlete, a musical performer, or an actor. Outsiders can often identify some of this common language in relation to “inner knowledge” or unfamiliar familiarity with the details of the celebrity’s life, family or surroundings.