Citizen participation, metadiscourse, and accountability: A public hearing on a zoning change for wal-mart

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Abstract

During a contentious public hearing on a zoning change for Wal-Mart, participants at times moved to a metadiscursive level with utterances such as, "expect to be listened to,""I have a question," or reading quotes of Town Board members from the newspaper. Such metadiscursive references allow participants to attempt to structure or depart from the public hearing format. Metadiscursive references also work to criticize their opponents' speech or the process. Metadiscourse has the consequence of contextualizing the participation framework of the hearing as to topic, length of presentation, and mode of interaction. From a normative perspective, metadiscourse is used to reflect on the folk assumptions about communication as expressed by participants during the public hearing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)636-659
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Communication
Volume60
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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