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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University


LAMP-L 416: Language and Mangement
Professor Michael Adams*
Section 2750 MW 2:30-3:45pm BH 321

--- OPEN ONLY to LAMP students. Must obtain permission from LAMP department. ---

Overview:

This seminar will investigate the relationship between management and language use along four roughly equal lines: (1) Nearly every vocation and avocation - for instance servers in restaurants and rider in the Little 500 - and managers are no exception. Management jargon establishes a discipline and fosters solidarity and collaboration among managers, though often in unfriendly contrast to non-managers - we will consider the nature, uses, and ethics of jargon; (2) Some management language, however, is euphemism or prevarication in aid of both organizational and social control, and we'll consider the nature, uses, and ethics of that sort of management-speak, too; (3) We will also consider "Your Language" - how managers must speak professionally and observe protocols of correctness and politeness in the workplace, but how they also, for various reasons, flout those protocols, for instance, if they use profanity with colleagues. Thus, we'll consider linguistic constraints and agency in organizations, especially as they relate to gender, race/ethnicity, and religion; and (4) We'll consider "Other People's Language" - how managers lead an organization on language issues, not only within the workplace, but projected out into business, as in an expectation that those hired would talk "white" because that's what clients supposedly want, other forms of discrimination, unwanted sexual advances, etc.

Over the course of the term, members will develop and write a twenty-page essay - by way of three drafts - and together will compile an annotated bibliography of our subject. Attendance and participation are assumed and figure significantly in final grades.

Section 4371
Section 4371