Volume 14, Issue 6
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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This qualitative study examines how male-identified and female-identified individuals use reflexive metadiscourse in the construction of affiliative communication, i.e., a mode of communication traditionally coded as feminine. Specifically, it examines requests made in the public context of group email. Both reflexive metadiscourse and affiliative communication are analysed with the concept of indexicality, and two novel sub-categories (i.e., directing and committing) are added to an existing taxonomy. The findings show that whether communicating to institutional subordinates, equals, or superiors, female-identified and male-identified senders displayed great similarity in their use of reflexive metadiscourse in the construction of affiliative communication. Amongst other things, reflexive metadiscourse indirectly indexed the following communicative behaviours associated with affiliative communication: sharing contextual information, expressing supportive feedback, constructing diminutive personas, and suppressing personal agency. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of the findings and directions for future research.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): affiliative communication; group email; indexicality; reflexive metadiscourse; requests
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