Genre Analysis of Move Structures in Job Interviews by the Judicial Service Commission of Kenya in 2011

Anne Obinju, Pamela Oloo, Lydia Akuno


Many scholars have carried out research on genre analysis (Swales, 1990, Bhatia,1993, Bruce, 1993), Flowerdew, 2002,  Fairclough,, 2006,  and others) and their findings have opened many avenues for research  and analysis of many genres. However, much of their  studies  have scarcely attempted to analyze move structures of job interviews conducted by a judicial commission in any country. A literature gap therefore exists, thus motivating the authors to analyze the move structures of JSC’s interviews using Genre analysis theory.  A genre analysis involves a survey of certain aspects, including : the identification of communication purposes and overall schematic structure of the target text, the analysis of  lexico-grammatical  features which involves quantitative corpus studies,  the analysis of  text patterning,  which includes the  analysis of conventionalized  patterns of language use at lexical, syntactic and discourse levels and lastly, the analysis of content-based organization, conventionally described as substance specific moves (Swales, 1990). A move is a unit that incorporates both purposes and content that the writer intentionally communicates to the reader (Bhatia, 1993). The present study aimed at investigating how the move structures of job interviews conducted by the Judicial Service Commission of Kenya in 2011 correspond to the interview process models as designed by Huffcut & Roth (1998), Adelsward (1998) and other scholars.  Through a genre analysis of interviews texts extracted  from the interviews conducted by the Judicial Service Commission of Kenya, the present study is aimed at exploring the moves employed in the interviews for certain communicative purposes. The results of the study indicate that  the JSC interviews make use of certain moves that are usually textually realized through certain linguistic forms. The study has identified  some linguistic realizations that are used to develop the moves of job interviews and it  has attempted to offer solution to some language challenges that emerge in the process of using language as a tool to address some problems in our society.

Keywords: Genre analysis, communication purposes, interviews, overall schematic structure, lexico-grammatical features.

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