Ethnography of a Discourse Community: Golf and the Power of Communication

Introduction

Nowadays, diversity is probably one of the most significant factors in the lives of many people. It is not enough to create a society where the vast majority of people support the principles and requirements set and some people argue the correctness of the ideas chosen.

People do not want to make use of language in order to develop communications with the whole world; instead, they use special language, terms, gestures, ideas, and even glance to promote communications within particular groups, now known as communities. Socialization is the process that helps to develop a number of non-home-based organizations where people spend their time, share their interests, and enlarge their knowledge in the spheres they like the most.

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Such communities are also called secondary Discourses (Gee 8), and they may be different schools, churches, or communities divided on the basis of personal interests and abilities. In this paper, the Powder Horn Golf Community will be analyzed in order to prove that luxury, comfort, passion to one particular sport game, natural beauty, and properly developed communication may be combined and offered to people within one community. Communication is an essential part of each golf game.

The peculiar feature of the communication process in golf is that golfers may use different gestures or even glances to send information, this is why the chosen community turns out to be a powerful example of how all the necessary information is shared between the members of the community and how successful the combination of comfort and pleasure may be to provide people with an ability to enjoy the conditions offered, to learn the main principles of the community, and to prove that the world of golf is unique indeed, and each person is free to discover this world any time.

Discourse Community and the Importance of Thick Description

There are a number of communities which are based on the passion to golf. Golfers as any other sportsmen have their own system of communication in order to achieve their main purposes and win the game. However, the peculiar feature of such community is that golfers do not always find it necessary to use words; what they use are their gestures, hand movements, and glances. Sometimes, it is even hard to set one clear purpose of golf game as it is not always about victory.

Golfers try to enjoy each second of the game, make use the natural beauty available to them, and introduce a new way of understanding the matter. Golf community is one big group of people that shares the same interests, still, tries to create some new approaches of how to succeed in the game.

To succeed in the evaluation of the chosen discourse community, it is better to use the main principles of the thick description offered by Geerts. In other words, the analysis of the community has to be based on particular details, clearly chosen information offered by the members of the community, and actions which may become more important than words themselves.

Many golfers admit that golf is a combination of a variety of factors. First of all, it is necessary to admit that watching golf and playing golf are the two absolutely different issues. Observing the ball flying when it is you who hit it and being an observer of the game provoke different feelings (Figure 1). This is why to understand the nature of the chosen community, it is possible to find what other people both golfers and golf fans think about the game, its principles, rules, and the skills required.

The Power of the Argument Chosen by the Community

There are many different reasons which bring people to golf. The point is that it is not possible for a person to play golf perfectly even this person has been playing the game for several years or even decades. There is always something to be improved, and it is always possible to develop the principles of the discourse community.

For example, the members of the Powder Horn Golf community admit that the chosen course is attractive due to the possibility to enjoy the views, be amazed with the natural beauty discovered by the developer, and get a chance to communicate people of different levels (“27 Holes of Golf”).

Many golfers say that it is not always easy to start playing the game in case there are the people who speak different languages. This is why it is very important to provide the players with special guides which help to develop communication on the necessary level.

The statistics shows that there are so many people of different age are eager to join the world of golf. Though the results dated in 2008 are not as bright as they were in 2005 (Figure 2), the popularity of the game is spreading over the whole world. The reasons of why people develop their skills in golf may be of personal or financial characters.

Some people find themselves good at golf, this is why they want to participate in different competitions and prove their worth. Some golfers find it obligatory to support a kind of family passion to golf. And some people just cannot imagine their lives without golf, this is why they use their chances to start a course as soon as possible.

Main Principles in the Golfer’s World

The evaluation of the golf community helps to understand that golfers have a number of rules which have to be followed as well as some personal principles and ideas. Passionate golfers are eager to develop their own system of communication in order to organize the game accordingly. There is always a certain system of signs and rituals with the help of which the game’s success is provided.

Golf community is the place where many new ideas and approaches may appear. The point is that people from different countries may come here to play and enjoy the beauty of the nature around. Of course, each golf community tries to create the best and the most comfortable conditions for people. This is why golfers aim at improving their maturity and communication only without considering the organizational questions or care of environment they are in.

The chosen group of people pays attention to a variety of details in the course. First, much attention is paid to gestures. Even a movement of a golfer’s hand may become a sign of how the ball will be hit. Some players try to create some slogans or phrases by means of which they try to find the necessary contact with the ball.

“You are my friend” or “I am the ball” are the phrases which golfers prefer to say while hitting the ball. A kind of personalization of the ball helps the player be more encouraged and to gain success in the game. This example shows how careful and responsible golfers can be. They are ready to use any methods to achieve the best results in their activities.

It is also evident that special communication practices may be developed within a golf community. Communication practices are not always good ways of players’ communication, still, they have to be recognized as they are important issues of critical discourse. Sometimes even one look may change the situation: people who know each other more or less are eager to develop a system of signs or gestures to improve the quality of the course. It seems to be easier and even more interesting to play the have relying on the practices developed.

Worth of the Community

The golf community divides players into the categories: the beginners, those who are in golf for several years, amateurs, and professionals. Each group has its own purposes and methods. The level of the game as well as communication practices differs considerable from a group to a group.

Without any doubts, the even the beginners many have different backgrounds: some players may have appropriate theoretical background and several properly developed skills for golf, some players start developing their skills from the zero point, and some players show medium results. In any case, all golfers have to know the vocabulary that is widely spread in communities, and such words like chip shot or dog license should not be some unknown terms.

Conclusion

In general, the evaluation of a particular discourse community, the Powder Horn Golf Community has a number of positive aspects. First of all, it is clear that such community is characterized by a certain portion of background knowledge, a number of values which have to be supported by the group members, and special community practices which are used to improve the conditions under which golfers are able to develop their skills, create new methods to play the game, and enjoy the possibilities available.

In fact, golf is not a game only; it is a world created under certain rules and requirements with the help of which people are free to demonstrate their best skills and ideas and prove their worth by means of playing the game.

Works Cited

“27 Holes of Golf.” The Powder Horn Golf Community. n.d. Web 3 Apr. 2011.

Gee, James, P. “Literacy, discourse, and linguistics: Introduction.” Journal of Education 171. 1. (1989): 5-17.

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