Quote 1: “Toward the end of the volume, I concluded that the denizens of the Herbarium formed a very distinct discourse community, while the ELI had many of the elements of a DC, even though there was a rather different ethos in the teaching and testing divisions (over such matters as to what “counts” as a publication), which remained a source of strain. On the other hand, in the Computer Center, the part-time employment of ever-changing streams of short-stay students meant that any sense of community, a sense that “we are all more or less on the same page”, never really developed.” (Paragraph 2, Lines 18-25)
I found this quote interesting as it showed that environments and circumstances can affect a discourse community’s existence. The mere shared interest of a hobby or activity or craft or dream is not sufficient, the continued and persistent “showing up” of people is also needed in order to maintain a discourse community. This is one of those things that seem obvious once pointed out, but when you haven’t really thought about the causality of things (more consistent attendance leads to a strong, or at the very least existent, discourse community whereas low attendance and short-stays contribute to the lack of a strong, or at the very least consistent, discourse community.
Quote 2: “A third problematic area is that both the discourse community concept and that of communities of practice tend to view their objects of study through an overly idealistic lens, especially in terms of assumptions about shared beliefs, values, motives, and allegiances among its members (Harris 1989).” (Paragraph 10, Lines 8-12)
This quote is really interesting as it points out the flaws of a discourse community. We talk about the positives of one and how it can progress thoughts, ideas, and discussion but the point raised shows that there is the opportunity for discourse communities to lose touch with reality, to raise the topic or common interest up on a pedestal and to both think about it too deeply that the thoughts are warped from the initial intention, or to think that the existence of the community is proof of it’s “betterness” than any and every other discourse out there; that a sense of elitism manifests and the progress of discussion is barred by petty politics and similar bullshit.