Autoethnographic Examination: Obscenity As a Register Within a Workplace Speech Community

Adrienne Mann


By method of autoethnographic examination and Dell Hymes’ Ethnography of Speaking, this linguistic study focuses on the development of a specific register within a speech community of a seafood-processing establishment. Workers employed a register of obscene language in this setting to create intense and multifaceted relationships, revealing a greater language ideology determined by the establishment’s setting. In association with the obscene register and language ideology, specific language tools were exposed by individual employees’ salient and personal utilization of them. The author concludes with an analysis of whether this register, language ideology, and instrumentalities, are representative of a greater hidden social consciousness and metaphor.

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University of Victoria