This paper, a preliminary study of Flight Attendant identity construction and attitudes toward inter-crew communication, examines the factors which may affect talk between the cabin crew, also known as flight attendants, and flight crew, also known as pilots onboard a commercial aircraft. The analysis and arguments are based on data collected from responses to questionnaires answered by working flight attendants and from posts made to public online aviation industry forums. The paper addresses several themes that are evident in the corpus: (1) the safety/service duality of the Flight Attendant role; (2) hyper-awareness of respect; (3) aspects of hierarchy; and (4) gender. Drawing from Accommodation Theory, using a Community of Practice framework, and situating my discourse analyses within interactional sociolinguistics, the paper argues that these themes contribute to the collaborative construction of Flight Attendant social identity. It also examines the relationship of identity with attitudes toward communication with pilots.
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