• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

It's good to talk is one of the great clich[ac]es of our time. The benefits of talk to individuals, families and organizations are proclaimed by pop psychologists, television talk show hosts, and management gurus. The importance of talk is talked about endlessly. Good to Talk? is an attempt to look critically at what lies behind this upsurge of concern about talk in our workplaces, classrooms and private lives, and it places these developments in historical context and relates their forms to the broader economic and social changes associated with globalization. The book also poses questions about the social and political implications of talking about talking. Is `communication' the key to solving the

Codifying ‘Communication’: Knowledge, Authority and Standards
Codifying ‘communication’: Knowledge, authority and standards

There is a lack of common understanding about communication skills

– Communication: a key skill for education, 1998 report.

In Chapter 1 I suggested that talking to others (‘communication’) is an area of modern life in which expert systems are asserting themselves over more traditional, informal and diffuse ways of organizing knowledge and practice. I also referred to Norman Fairclough's proposal that discourse is being ‘technologized’, acquiring in the process its own specialist technologists – researchers, designers and trainers (Fairclough, 1992: 215). Such observations are suggestive, but they lack concrete detail. Among the questions I will address in this chapter are: what are the relevant ‘modes of technical knowledge’, and where do they come from? What ...

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