Language of power
Extract 1 is between a vet called Mr.B and a client who has taken his dog to seek advice.
Mr.B has influential power according to theorist Fairclough as he has power of persuasion and asking the questions for example what seems to be the problem ?, over the client who has taken his dog to the vet. Using Fairclough’s theory, it could also be suggested as an unequal encounter as Mr.B clearly has the knowledge, therefore is developing the power in their relationship.
In addition to this Mr.B and client A are using adjacency pairs, for example Mr.B asks “has he been eating?” and client a replies “no not really.” This confirms there is co-operation between Mr.B and the client. However when Mr.B tells the client to go to reception he responded with silence, which is Fairclough’s theory of another unequal encounter.
And finally mr B uses elicitation when asking client, what seems to be the problem ? and client a responds using an idiom for example he,s a bit of colour.
Extract 2 is Mr.B with his daughter. In this extract there are some strong comparisons to extract 1, as Mr.B again has influential power over his daughter, however with her continued silence she is regaining the power over Mr.B which supports Fairclough’s theory of unequal encounters.
At the beginning of this extract Mr.B uses a rhetorical question to try to persuade his daughter to go to bed.
A further language feature Mr.B uses is saving face which is by theorist Brown and Levison, this is known as trying not to embarrass the person you are talking to, for example Mr.B says “come on up you go.” Furthermore Mr.B uses an imperative to re-establish his position of power.
In contrast with extract 1, the positional power roles are reversed as it demonstrates in extract 3,the police officer has instrumental power over mr B ;whereas in extract 1 mr.B has influential power. Likewise the officer also has overt prestige according to theorist Giles , over mr.B as he has...