The American psychologist journal
- The American psychologist journal
- Dr. Gwendolyn Puryear Keita
- Discourse communities
Discourse communities are groups of people that use the same language to communicate. This language is usually specialist and thus leaves the other members of the general community out. For example, while reading an engineering paper, the reader has to have a dictionary if they are not a member of the engineering community. This is true for almost all disciplines. Since all disciplines use written language to express themselves, then their identity is found in their written works.
The relevance of this explanation of a discourse community is in explaining the language used in the Journal. This paper has already shown that it is intentioned for psychologists or people with a psychological background. Therefore, the language used in the journal has to be a reflection of this discourse community. Before 2009 (B. Anderson, 2013), when the journal adopted the philosophy of welcoming all people who wished to read it, the articles were written in specialist language that was hard to understand for new readers. After the new policies, the language barriers lessened. However, reading the Journal still requires a level of understanding psychological terms, otherwise the articles lack a flow. However, there are explanations of certain terms, though this is rare.
[...] This is the reaon why important APA documents are published in the journal. However, the other articles in the journal are written in relatively easy to understand language and are therefore easy to understand for the rest of the population. For example, teachers may enjoy portions of the journal because they have been trained in educational psychology, though they are not members of the APA. The discourse community targeted by this journal is therefore wider that the average scholarly journals. [...]
[...] For example, the American Psychologist was criticized for its lack of identity after the change. Though it is still among the most cited journals in psychology, its earlier audience finds the new version less academic, and thus looks for alternative journals. The articles are tight and linear. They start by establishing a pattern and then proceeding to make a claim and prove the claim. The claims made by the authors are proven through research data presented in the articles. This data is analyzed in terms of integrity and weaknesses before a trend is established. [...]
[...] "At APA, all are welcome." http://www.apa.org. N.p Nov Web Mar "APA psych net." American psychosomatic Association . N.p., n.d. Webded Mar. 2013. [...]