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A legal discourse community - Text centered and interdisciplinary in social and political context

by K Griggs
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This article reviews recent studies of legal discourse and nonacademic\nwriting and presents the results of a historical case study of an\nenvironmental public policy. The author examined the rhetoric of public\nsector communication to show how an Indiana water quality standards\nadministrative law was socially constructed as it was written\ncollaboratively in two cycles by members of a text-centered legal\ndiscourse community Key findings describe a dynamic discourse community\nwith changing writing roles among government employees, lay members of\nthe audience, and water pollution control board members. The social and\npolitical context surrounding this collaborative effort delayed formal\nadoption of the water quality standards in the public sector.\nControversial provisions of the law stimulated social and political\nactions, including legislation, and in the process delayed rulemaking.

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