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An Applied Genre Analysis of the Discursive Practices in Insurance Contexts.

Yeung, Oscareale. (2013) An Applied Genre Analysis of the Discursive Practices in Insurance Contexts. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

In the insurance sales process, agents make use of marketing brochures to inform potential clients of both the coverage and the exclusions in an insurance product. As this professional genre plays an important role in this industry, it has been identified as the research topic for this study with particular reference to Hong Kong (HK) and Mainland China. The focus of the study is on the production and interpretation of, the discourse features, the tactics in conveying and reconciling the positive messages (covered items) and the negative messages (excluded items), as well as their intercultural differences, in a corpus of selected brochures. The study analyses the chosen genre adopting Critical Genre Theory (Bhatia, 2004) covering four perspectives, i.e. Textual, Ethnographic, Socio-cognitive and Socio-critical. To suit this multi-perspective model, data have been collected not only from a text analysis of the corpus of brochures, but also from questionnaire surveys (one for HK brochure writers and one for HK insurance agents). It was found that the production of HK brochures relies on both an internal team with particular expertise and external sources, i.e. an advertising agency. Results indicate that verbal devices (e.g. synonymy and nominalization) and non-verbal devices (e.g. family photos and occupying less space) are used to convey positive and negative messages. The use of conditions and disclaimers to reconcile these conflicting messages is also frequent in brochures of both locations. For the interpretation of brochures, surprisingly, agents rather than clients are the primary readers and users whose opinions offer useful feedback to brochure writers. These findings not only contribute new knowledge to the study of professional discourse, but also serve as guidelines for brochure writers and agents in the profession. Lastly, the findings offer students discourse strategies in reconciling conflicting messages in two different cultures.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Yeung, Oscareale.
Date : 2013
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2013.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 14 May 2020 15:44
Last Modified : 14 May 2020 15:54
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856944

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