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The Oral Narrative of a Student Activist as a Speech Genre

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0).

The speech ecosystem of an activist’s utterance is rooted in the paradigm of concepts of “movement”, “action”, “initiative”. Unlike their elder role models - the officials, who learned to avoid the first-personpronoun in their speeches - an activist is using an I-narrative which serves several purposes of the utterance. Firstly, it helps demonstrate their positive experience to those who are starting or thinking about joining the ranks of activists. Secondly, it is a public recognition of their own achievements. Thirdly, it serves as a kind of a spoken selfie, reflecting any life event. An activist’s speech frequently features the word “emotions” which substitutes actual words for real emotions. All events described by an activist should be approached without any doubt or hesitation, since all events are supposed to be proper and useful, they are integral parts of “movements” and “actions”. An activist is always sure of the cause and is proud to be a part of a leader group. An activist speaks about their corporate culture, about personal development, trying out something new; the students’ council is described as the school of life. The activists’ utterances mostly belong to business communication. Their version includes both, the bureaucratic slang of “adults” and the youth jargon. We have identified the general structural aspects of this speech genre, the framework of an utterance, the role of its subjects, the emotional level (or the lack of it) in the speech of activists. The article demonstrates the emerging features of a genre of an oral statement in the speech of student swho position themselves as activists.

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