A Similar Phenomenon Is Used For The Quality Of The Department Of Social Sciences

A Similar Phenomenon Is Used For The Quality Of The Department Of Social Sciences

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In extract 3, a similar phenomenon is used. This extract comes from page 6 of the CMS brochure. Here the brochure shows a quote from ‘Professor Deborah Chambers, Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, Newcastle University – External Examiner’ (extract 3). She describes the teaching quality at Loughborough University as ‘exemplary’ that reflects the ‘high quality of the Department of Social Sciences’, which according to Chambers is a ‘leading department internationally’. Here we see an example of what Potter (1996) describes as category entitlement/credential presentation, which is a form of categorization. Potter (1996) states that category entitlement is the idea that people who belong to certain categories are seen as knowledgeable. Category entitlement removes ‘the need to ask how the person knows’ (Potter, 1996, pg. 133) and just by being a member of that category is treated as ‘sufficient to account for, and warrant, their knowledge of a specific domain’ (Potter, 1996, pg. 133). The boundaries of categories are not fixed and their entitlements can be altered in many different ways (Gilbert and Mulkay, 1984; Potter, 1988; Shuman, 1992, cited in Hill and Irvine, 1993; Yearley, 1984). Credential representation is the ‘thing’ or ‘badge or document’ (Potter, 1996, pg. 136) that labels a person as belonging to a certain category. This extract is an example of category entitlement and credential presentation because Chambers has the ‘badge’ of ‘Professor’ that puts her into the category of being an academic. This device works to establish the texts credibility because with category entitlement comes connotations. Certain categories carry typical connotations, for example having the title Dr. carries positive connotations of intell...


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... is built around the presumption that Chambers is providing us with information that will sustain her personal and professional integrity (Baudhuin and Davies, 1972). By drawing on credible sources whose opinions act as reliable and trustworthy accounts, it increases the likelihood of persuasion, as Larson (1973) states, ‘trustworthiness has been repeatedly demonstrated in research studies as a key component to credibility’ (Larson, 1973, pg. 275). With the aim of the brochure to persuade potential students that Loughborough University is an attractive and appealing place to study, the use of category entitlement goes some way to achieving this goal. This persuasive device works perfectly in the context of a brochure looking to persuade its audience because as we will see from the example below, the reliability of what is said is heavily dependent on who has said it.

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