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Discourse analysis and conversation analysis

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posted on 2009-11-03, 13:34 authored by Charles Antaki
"Discourse" means what people say or write. Scholars might want to look into what people say or write for many reasons: and their particular reason will play a large part in deciding just what sort of saying and writing they choose to study, and what methods they use to do so. Students of history, cultural and media studies, and politics, among other disciplines, will want at times to identify a "discourse" as a collection of metaphors, allusions, images, historical references and so on that populate some cultural phenomenon (the discourse of modernity, for example, or the discourse of cyberculture, or the discourse of Human Resource Management; all current scholarly projects). That way of looking at discourse is more static than those I review in this chapter, where discourse is taken to be social action made visible in language. The sort of discourse analyst I talk about in this chapter is a social scientist: she or he sees discourse as an organisation of talk or text that does something, in the broad social world, or in the immediate interaction, or in both.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies


ANTAKI, C., 2008. Discourse analysis and conversation analysis. IN: Alasuutari. P., Bickman L, and Brannan, J. (eds.). The SAGE Handbook of Social Research Methods, London, Sage, pp. 431-446.


Sage / © Charles Antaki


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This is a chapter from the book, The SAGE Handbook of Social Research Methods.




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