Macrogenre: A Multiperspectival and Mutifunctional Approach to Social Interaction
Issue: Vol 2 No. 2 (2006)
Journal: Linguistics and the Human Sciences
Research on social activities that consist of multiple genres, also termed macrogenres, remains a relatively unexplored area in the linguistic sciences. Furthermore, representations of genres and macrogenres tend to be constituency based, highlighting ideational meanings as opposed to interpersonal and textual ones. In this paper, I illustrate how Halliday’s tripartite metafunctional (ideational, interpersonal, textual) model can be applied to a narrative counselling interview macrogenre. I argue that each metafunctional perspective can provide a different angle through which to observe, represent and explain counselling logogenesis. The data from this study were taken from audiorecordings of 2 cases of 6 conjoint narrative counselling sessions, involving 2 couples and a male counsellor. Using the methods of Genre & Register theory and Systemic Functional Linguistics, it was found that, for both cases of counselling, counsellor and couples drew from similar sets of linguistic resources to collaboratively construct the counselling process. Furthermore, these linguistic patterns were shown to cluster together, forming identifiable generic stages and genres in which couples problems were constructed and subsequently effaced. Finally, it was found that representing the counselling macrogenre from different metafunctional perspectives provided a more comprehensive picture of the purposeful and goal directed unfolding of the counselling process.
Author: Peter Muntigl