The Academic Conference Social Dimension
The social side of conferencing eludes simple discourse or genre analysis. However, members of the discourse community will typically make use of these occasions to establish or cement relations. Networking is considered by many to be the primary reason for conference attendance, but the nature and content of the spoken discourse employed will depend upon the varied goals, relationships, and immediate environment of the participants. In this short chapter, a few central features of this dimension, particularly the triangulation of extemporaneous conference talk alternating between ‘general English’, formulaic academic phrases, and specialist terminology, will be discussed.