Business Culture Ideology Represented In Its Educational Practice

Abstract

The current paper studies the existing notions of “pedagogical discourse” and the value system in authentic educational texts. As a result of the analysis, the authors present the concept of educational discourse based on its functions as a kind of pedagogical discourse. We consider values to be dominant in any ideology and therefore the article focuses on revealing specific features of “promoting” hedonistic values such as “A New Type of Worker”, “Joy of Life” and altruistic “Charity”, “Environment Protection”, and “National Tolerance». The authors have found different language nomination types of each structured discourse markers in its field forms. In the course of the analysis, we have differentiated two structural value types. They are complicated structure values and simple structure values. Complicated structure values consist of two sub-values, i.e., the value “A New Type of Worker” combines the sub-values “Success” and “Partnership”; the value “National Tolerance” is structured by the sub-values “Internationalism” and “Multiculturalism”. Each of the stated values has its peculiarities resulting from its cognitive function and the general purpose of the current educational discourse. So the classification of hedonistic values/altruistic values has been completed according to the types which are specific for these educational texts. These types are the pseudo-altruistic one and the transitional from hedonistic to altruistic one. The business culture ideology represented in the current educational discourse can be generalized in the following statement: You have to be/become a citizen of the world.

Keywords: Altruistic valuesdiscourse markereducational texthedonistic valuespedagogical discoursevalue dominant

Introduction

The pedagogical discourse has been a discussion subject in several humanities since the middle of the 20th century (Balabanova, 2018; Ippolitova, 2016; Karasik, 1999; Karasik, 2001; Stubs, 1988). “Pedagogical discourse” concept has various interpretations and understandings due to different theoretical approaches. Therefore, there is no clear definition of “pedagogical discourse” and “didactic discourse” adopted by scholar society [compare with 2].

However, the majority of scholars share a similar understanding of the discourse classification made by Karasik (2001). He defines the pedagogical discourse as one of the institutional discourse types. According to Ostrazhkova (2004), the pedagogical discourse as a type includes didactic, academic, public, social, and special discourses (Isayeva & Krivchenko, 2019). The scholar defines the didactic discourse as an oral communication between a teacher and a student while giving instructions. The above position excludes written texts from the textbooks; these texts are also not to be found under academic discourse: the latter concerns scientific papers, monographs, and textbooks relating to the pedagogic and instruction methods (Ostrazhkova, 2004; Isayeva & Krivchenko, 2019).

We consider the following definition to be the most accurate for the stated object: pedagogical discourse is a semiotic process, forming and interpreting texts in a communication situation (Koldyayeva, 2017). The term “educational texts” refers to their functions in respect to their clients. The term “clients” nominates the persons – objects of any institution discourse and has been proposed by Karasik (2001). He states that it has cognitive, educational, or moral-ethic and didactic functions, it trains certain abilities, skills, and forms competence in a certain field of knowledge. The main goal of the educational discourse is to help a new society member to be socialized (Karasik, 1999); its educational function is presupposed a priori by a number of values (Ruban, 2015; Tlenkopacheva, 2015).

Problem Statement

However, it should be stated that this axiological aspect of the educational texts is treated by the scholars as a “stepson”, figuratively speaking, and, according to Zavernina (2018), the main research subjects in the written pedagogical discourse are cognitive strategies and tactics that are typical for the educational texts.

In respect to the English educational discourse, the main and the most common study subjects are its functional-semantic aspects (Turlova, 2009). Some kinds of educational discourse are analyzed with cognitive-pragmatic approaches (Ippolitova, 2016). The values also have not been a research task in any of the latest works (Anokhina, 2020; Isayeva & Krivchenko, 2019; Saraikina, 2015; Savitskaya, 2020). The review of the scientific works shows the necessity of a more detailed description of the value system in any kind of educational text and thus defines the goal and tasks of the current paper.

Research Questions

In the course of the study the authors have tried:

  • to describe discourse markers indicating the value system represented in these educational texts;

  • to find out the interrelation between the specifics of the current texts and their value system.

Purpose of the Study

The goal of the analysis is to reveal dominant and peripheral value aspects in the following textbook: “Intelligent Business” which is a coursebook of Elementary Level Business English by Barrall and Barrall (2006).

Research Methods

Due to the above- mentioned definition of the educational discourse, the following methods have been applied in the current paper:

  • context analysis

  • descriptive method

  • interpretative method

  • linguacultural approach

Findings

The process of economic globalization is reflected in the given educational texts by a number of hedonistic and altruistic values [the classification by Janich (2005)]. The hedonistic values first of all include: “A New Type of Worker” and “Joy of Life”. The altruistic values are represented by “Charity”, “Environment Protection”, and “National Tolerance”, which also consists of two sub-values such as “Internationalism” and “Multiculturalism”. Basing on the above we differentiate two kinds of values: one that has a simple structure, and another one of a more complicated structure

Complicated structure values

The value “A New Type of Worker” is somehow highlighted in every unit. Two parts or sub-values of its structure are the hedonistic value “Success” and the altruistic “Partnership”. But the latter is transformed in some way: it is teamwork, often international and not in the home country, aimed at the successful implementation of a certain temporary project that results in financial and moral success for each team member for the stated time period. Therefore, this sub value can be defined in the context of the current educational discourse as a pseudo-altruistic one, and the value “A New Type of Worker” as a type and structure complicated one.

The discourse markers for the sub-value “Success” are following collocations: to travel in their job; to spend one’s time in a city/ country; the head of the French and Japan company; to go to work every day in a different country; to commute between Brussels, London, and Paris; business travel; a success story. These collocations are indirect nominations for this value; only the last one is a direct nomination. The payment as a result of the successful implementation of a certain project can also be interpreted as an indirect nomination. In this respect the following text is a demonstrative example:

“Three Canadian students worked together on a college project last year and their idea made them a million dollars in ten months. … Now the three students live in Toronto and have a successful IT company” (Barrall & Barrall, 2006, p. 61).

For the pseudo-altruistic sub value “Partnership” there are a few more discourse markers, but the basic difference between these sub-values lies in the qualitative aspect: the markers are direct nominations. The first of them is the keyword “team” and such collocations as a formal /an unformal team; a traditional team; team members, and then: groups of colleagues; college project. Verb collocations explicitly express the temporary character of such a partnership: to travel to different countries to work on projects; to be in a country until the project ends. Due to the difference in the language nominations for the hedonistic and pseudo-altruistic values, we consider the latter one to be a constituent part of the value “A New Type of Worker” and a dominant one in the current educational texts.

Complicated value “National Tolerance”

Sub-value “Internationalism”

The prime discourse markers for this sub value are proper names. Anglo-Saxon names mostly prevail among the others: they have 43% out of all the mentioned; French names follow them with 17% share; proper names of another Roman origin (Latin Americans and Italian) are represented with 12% for each group; Arab names are found in 6% of cases and Slav as well as Chinese in 5% cases for each.

The figures reflect the representation of culture types, based on the “activity kinds” (Lewis, 1999): monoactive (task-oriented), polyactive (people-oriented) and reactive (respect-oriented listeners). The authors of the textbook give preference to the Anglo-Saxons as the most task-oriented nationality (among the mentioned ones) according to Lewis’ line scale of monoactivity and polyactivity; then the middle position is given to French as a weakening polyactive culture; Italians and Russians as polyactive nationalities are placed near the polyactive pole though Latin Americans and Arabs are at the end of Lewis scale because reactive cultures occupy the peripheral position.

To a certain extent, Lewis’ (1999) culture typology corresponds with the culture typology by criterion “Individualistic cultures/ Collectivistic cultures” for his monoactive culture is individualistic and polyactive and reactive cultures are collectivistic ones. Thereby we conclude the preference of individualistic cultures: Anglo-Saxons and French, represented by proper names as discourse markers for the “Internationalism” sub-value to the collective cultures, represented by proper names of another ethnic origin, mentioned in the texts: 60% and 40%, respectively. This correlation is reasonable for the current authentic textbook. However, it should be mentioned that according to the research carried out in 1990 70% of the world population live in collectivistic cultures (Kulinich & Kostrova, 2017). That fact has not been fully taken into consideration by the authors.

On the other hand, the revealed culture preferences marked by the proper names are absolutely in correspondence with the sub value constituent “Partnership” of “A New Type of Worker” value as in the stated sense it requires task-oriented persons and the successful accomplishment the project serves as a proof of each team member’s individuality.

It should be also noted that there is no correlation between the hierarchy in the business world and the nationality though the figures allow to point out a preference tendency in respect to the employees of the international companies as being dependent on their nationalities as well as the authors’ aspiration to represent the companies which have a staff of Anglo-Saxon origin as leading global corporations in the world business.

The company names confirm the stated tendencies: British and American corporations, e.g. IBM, Nerada, Westfield Electronics, Hemmingway Consultants, Raven Ltd. are mentioned in 52% cases, French and Italian such as Luxottica, Bulgari, Renault, Fiat, Dior, Marquis Lane Industries are in 38% and Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Indian) such as Shanghai Tang, Mahindra & Mahindra, Junko Fashions are in 10%.

The results of the above-mentioned considerations in respect to global economics can be generalized by a train metaphor where Anglo-Saxons is a locomotive but Romans are the first-class carriages and other nations are second-class carriages.

From the linguistic point of view, all proper names are direct nominations for the sub-value “Internationalism” as well as the following collocations: an international association; an international company; Vinway International; an international magazine; international employees; a multinational company; global business.

Sub-value “Multiculturalism”

The discourse markers for this sub-value are on the contrary direct sentence nominations, expressing the peculiarities of the business and corporate culture in different countries. An illustrative example is the following exercise that represents all culture types on both criteria mentioned above:

Read about business cards in different countries. Complete the information with countries in the box.

Table 1 -
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The difference between British and American cultures is expressed in the following antithesis: British companies don’t have regular picnics whereas annual office picnics are a popular social event for many companies in the USA.

The sentences express a hedonistic value per se, and it can be interpreted as a marker for multiculturalism only in a narrow sense by taking into account the stated antithesis. In other words, in this educational text the hedonistic value “Joy of Life” is transformed from being a person - individual one into becoming a collective-corporative one. This new cognitive essence allows it to function as a marker for the sub-value “Multiculturalism”.

Simple structure values

Hedonistic values

The hedonistic value “Joy of Life” also has its own peculiarities resulting from the general goal of the current educational discourse: the joy of life provided by the company. Due to this, we consider the collocations “office picnic”, “corporate event” to be core discourse markers for this value. Near the core of this value’s field structure, we place the discourse markers which gradually concretize the content of events nominated by the core collocations. These are the substantive “entertaining” and the collocation “to have fun”, followed by “free drinks/food”, “to relax”, “to play games”. The peripheral collocations are “Christmas party”, “delicious opportunity”, “to celebrate special occasions”, “to enjoy the picnic”.

Positioning the markers in the quasi-core zone and in the periphery within the field structure of the value “Joy of Life” is based on the following considerations: they express the events occurring under any other circumstances and not depending on some corporate arrangements. However, all expressions are direct nominations for this value.

The cognitive function of these educational texts as a component of the educational discourse conditions a presence of a transitional value type: from a hedonistic value to an altruistic one marked by the collocation “to entertain clients”. The reason for such a definition is the reverse orientation of hedonistic values when a centripetal vector of hedonistic value changes and becomes a centrifugal vector of an altruistic value (Janich, 2005).

Altruistic values

In the current texts, two simple structure altruistic values are found: “Charity” and “Environment Protection”. The discourse markers for both are direct nominations, comprising the substantive “charity” and various collocations: the business of giving; to give money to charity; to make the world a better place. The consequences of the charity are marked by the collocations: to reduce health problems; to give more time to study; i.e. the parts of the cognitive content of this value are in causal relations.

Demonstrative examples are phrases which have public persons’ names that also appeal to the strategy “authority argumentation/arguing”: Bill Gates’ donation; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Pierre Omidyar, the founder of the eBay, and Jeff Skoll, the eBay’s first CEO, want to use their billions to help ‘make the world a better place’.

The discourse markers for the value “Environment Protection” are rare: the substantive ‘environment’ itself and a sentence: It (oil – S.A.) causes indoor and outdoor air pollution.

Conclusion

  • In the educational texts of the textbook “Intelligent Business” there is a dominant value “A New Type of Worker” and a number of others somehow related to it.

  • This dominant value has a complicated structure as well as complicated content. The other hedonistic and altruistic values can have a simple and a complicated structure.

  • The specific nature of the current educational discourse conditions the presence of the values, completing the classification with the types: pseudo-altruistic and transitional from the hedonistic to altruistic values.

  • The discourse markers for the values in some degree differ referring to the nomination kind: indirect nominations prevail for the sub value “Success” in the dominant value; for its pseudo-altruistic sub value direct nominations are more typical as well as for those altruistic ones, for which an ambivalent nomination has been found. So, the promotion of the Western cultures’ fundamental value “Individualism” is veiled.

  • The dominant value “A New Type of Worker” is aimed to create “a citizen of the world”, whose main life goal is his own welfare.

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to the organizing committee of the conference for the opportunity to participate in this scientific event; to the editorial board for the cooperation by forming the manuscript.

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

28.12.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.12.04.5

Online ISSN

2357-1330