Article published in:The pragmatics of professional discourse
Edited by Winnie Cheng
[Pragmatics and Society 7:1] 2016
► pp. 8–29
Flight attendant identity construction in inflight incident reports
This article explores the discursive construction of a professional flight attendant (FA) identity (Bucholtz and Hall 2004) in a corpus of reports written by FAs and voluntarily submitted to a US government agency. The article argues that writing and submission of the reports by FAs can be seen as a performative act, which heightens aviation institutional ideologies whilst foregrounding safety-related practices. Moreover, the narratives make frequent use of the intersubjective relation of adequation and distinction (i.e., “us and them”) in their situated construction of identity, with FAs excluding pilots from discursive constructions of the inflight crew. This distancing of pilots is counter to the “team” ideology in commercial aviation upon which much flight safety is predicated.
Keywords: adequation, flight attendant, performative act, aviation, inflight incident reports, professional identity
Published online: 07 April 2016
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