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  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online publication date: June 2021

3 - Science, Genres and Social Action

Summary

Chapter 3 frames the role of research genres within the broader social views of Giddens’s structuration theory and Russell’s activity theory to show how genres act within highly articulated social systems. The chapter seeks to validate the assumption that the processes underlying generic forms are paramount for assessing how researchers today draw on language repertoires to communicate their research work locally and globally in the physical and the virtual space. The discussion of this chapter revolves around the interdependence between traditional genres and what Miller and Kelly define as emerging genres in new media environments. Analogies with concepts from the field of literary criticism serve to clarify how emerging digital genres can be conceptualised as ‘generic hybrids’ as they draw on features of existing genres and enhance those genres using the multimodal and hypertextual possibilities of the Internet. The chapter finally addresses transformative practice in science communication to illustrate emerging forms of social interaction between scientists and science stakeholders.