DescriptionParticipating in informal, jocular interactions is an essential part of becoming a full member of any work community (Holmes & Woodhams, 2013). Humor may take different forms in different workplace settings. Blue-collar work, i.e., manual and physical work at construction sites, for example, is stereotypically associated with the use of rough language, and possibly "impolite” forms of humor (Lønsmann & Kraft, 2017).
This paper focuses on one type of humorous discourse at construction sites. Based on longitudinal ethnographic research on different-sized construction sites in Finland, we analyze texts that are part of the linguistic landscape of these workplaces. We focus on texts that include humoristic accounts, which are either written directly on the available surfaces of the building-in-the-making or added as handwritten commentary to printed texts. We analyze the multimodal design of the texts as well as their physical positioning as part of the emerging spaces and discuss how the texts can be analyzed as part of the workplace discourses of construction sites.
Our analysis contributes to our current understanding of the role of language in manual and physical work. The role of written texts organizing the work-related interactions in blue-collar work is a theme that has not been analyzed widely – even though the increasing importance of texts, textual artifacts, and writing more generally has been recognized in applied linguistic research analyzing work-related language use.
Holmes, J., & Woodhams, J. (2013). Building interaction: The role of talk in joining a community of practice. Discourse & Communication, 7(3), 275-298.
Lønsmann, D. & Kraft, K. (2017). Language in blue-collar workplaces. Teoksessa B. Vine (toim.),
The Routledge Handbook of Language in the workplace, (s. 169–180). New York,
|Aikajakso||28 lokak. 2022|
|Tapahtuman otsikko||AFinLA autumn symposium 2022|