Genre theory in the past few years has contributed immensely to our understanding of the way discourse is used in academic, professional and institutional contexts. However, its development has been constrained by the nature and design of its applications, which have invariably focused on language teaching and learning, or communication training and consultation. This has led to the use of simplified and idealised genres. In contrast to this the real world of discourse is complex, dynamic and unpredicatable. This tension between the real world of written discourse and its representation in applied genre-based literature is the main theme of this book.
The book addresses this theme from the perspectives of four rather different worlds: the world of reality, the world of private intentions, the world of analysis and the world of applications. Using examples from a range of situations including advertising, business, academia, economics, law, book introductions, reports, media and fundraising, Bhatia uses discourse analysis to move genre theory away from educational contexts and into the real world.