Publication 1138

Bartesaghi M. (2014) Coordination: Examining weather as a ‘matter of concern’. Communication Studies 65: 535–557. Fulltext at
I employ spoken and written discourse and extended excerpts from teleconferences between local, state, and federal officials in the midst of Hurricane Katrina to examine the term coordination as one powerful way of accounting for and pragmatically (re)constructing weather in crisis discourse. By means of discourse analysis, I find that the indexical term coordination is part of a metadiscursive vocabulary of disaster, and that, though it performs important social functions in the communication of accountability, authority, and redress, it has very little to do with communicating about weather itself. My conclusion presses for a discursive approach as a means of recovering and understanding social ontologies like weather and the way we materially organize around themes what Latour refers to “matters of concern.” Relevance: It analyzes how notions of weather and disaster are constructed in language.


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