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Title: Professional and community identity in the field of technical communication in Ireland
Author: Cleary, Yvonne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 032X
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2012
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Technical communication is a relatively new occupational field in the Republic of Ireland, which has grown in response to the location of software and hardware companies in the country. Because it is also a new area of academic study, with just one academic programme in technical communication in Ireland, no research to date has examined the Irish technical communication context. This study seeks to begin addressing this research gap by examining practitioners' perspectives of technical communication in Ireland, specifically exploring four key themes which emerge from the literature on communities of practice and professionalisation theory: practice, education and training, status and value, and professional and community structures. The study also acknowledges the impact of technology, on technical communication specifically, and on professional work generally. The study uses a comparative case study approach to explore these themes. It compares the findings from an interpretative analysis of ten blogs maintained by technical communicators from other countries, with the findings from the Irish case, gathered from surveys, online focus groups and interviews. The study's findings indicate that Irish technical communicators exhibit traits of communities of practice (such as joint enterprise and shared repertoires). They also identify with their job title and practice. A key finding is that many Irish technical communicators, especially freelancers and lone writers, have a keen appetite for community involvement. This enthusiasm notwithstanding, many barriers impede professionalisation, not least the low visibility of the role in Ireland, limited evidence of professionalising activity, and the potential for career stagnation. Findings from the blog study support the findings from the Irish case in a number of areas, especially in respect of changing roles, the impact of technology, and some concern about the status and value of the role.
Supervisor: Williams, Noel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available