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The use of contrastive strategies in a sociology research paper

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This paper investigates the employment of contrastive rhetorical relations in three papers written in English and published in international sociological journals. The first paper is authored by native speakers of English; the second by a Polish writer working in an Australian discourse community; and the third by a Polish writer who is a member of a Polish discourse community. Contrastive relations are discussed with respect to textual function, frequency of employment, hierarchical location, discoursal prominence and explicitness. The analysis reveals both similarities and differences between the contrastive structures employed in the respective texts. It is hypothesized that the similarities result from the shared stylistic conventions and traditions of the disciplinary research community of sociology. Variations in the mode of employment of contrastive structures by the writers of the studied texts may be caused by their differing linguistic backgrounds and discourse community memberships.

  • Affiliations: 1: Deakin University, Melbourne

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