The work is the talk
Collaboration and power in tertiary language advisory practice
Keywords:workplace communication, language and power, professional identities, language advisory work, academic literacies, meeting talk, critical discourse analysis
The field of workplace communication has grown in the past 20 years to encompass the negotiation of identities and the role of power in collaboration. Nonetheless, identity struggles at work remain an underexplored phenomenon, particularly for emerging or marginalised professional groups such as tertiary language and learning advisors (TLAs) in higher education. In this article, we explore how challenges encountered in collaboration between TLAs and content specialist academics (CSs) in an Australian tertiary setting can impact the negotiation of professional identities as well as the success of the work. We draw on transcripts of meeting talk from two novice TLAs as they negotiate collaborative work with one CS in a postgraduate subject, and we use critical discourse analysis to demonstrate how power discursively manifests in the meetings. The study sheds new light on the complexities of collaborative work, manifested through interactions, in hierarchical professional environments.
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