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Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
2012 (Swedish)In: Språk & Stil, ISSN 1101-1165, Vol. 22, no 1, 110-134 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The majority of text researchers today view text as deeply embedded in context. Still, the questionof how context should be treated in analysis, in order to achieve a “thick” theoretical understanding,remains substantially unanswered. In this article, a focus on the meso-level of context, the activity,is suggested as a way of contextualizing texts. This level has shown to be fruitful for explainingpatterns and variation in conversation. The meso-level of activity can also be expected to berelevant for the participants of textual communication, which is a key factor when striving for whatis sometimes called ecological validity. In the article, previous research and specific examples arediscussed in two thematic sections, focusing on texts in text-mediated activities (e.g. academic researchand education) and texts in practical activities (e.g. health care work), respectively. Basedon these overviews, a unified analytical perspective and a possible stance for researchers interestedin grounding their text analysis in a less ‘text-biased’ understanding of context are proposed. Thisperspective combines activity theory with a semiotic focus on text artefacts inspired by New LiteracyStudies. Once the role of a text in the activity is established, and when goals and possibleconflicts are identified, context-based concepts such as genre and discourse are suggested for linkingactivity to linguistic text structure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Swedish Science Press, 2012. Vol. 22, no 1, 110-134 p.
Keyword [en]
text and context, activity, activity theory, genre, discourse
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-175659OAI: diva2:532411
Available from: 2012-06-26 Created: 2012-06-11 Last updated: 2012-06-26Bibliographically approved

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Karlsson, Anna-Malin
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