Discourse Analysis

The Practice and Practical Value of Taping, Transcribing, and Analyzing Talk

Authored by: Karen Tracy , Julien C. Mirivel

Routledge Handbook of Applied Communication Research

Print publication date:  June  2009
Online publication date:  July  2009

Print ISBN: 9780805849837
eBook ISBN: 9780203871645
Adobe ISBN: 9781135231798


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Sacks (1992) noted that “from close looking at the world you can find things that we couldn’t, by imagination, assert were there” (p. 420). Over the past 30 years, scholars in communication, sociology, linguistics, anthropology, education, and psychology have looked closely at communication between people as they interact. Discourse analysis (DA) is the umbrella term that has emerged for this multidisciplinary set of theoretical– methodological approaches. At its simplest, DA involves recording interaction; transcribing the tape; repeated study of the tape; formulating claims about the conversational moves, structures, and strategies demonstrated in the interaction; and then building an argument with transcript excerpts that are analyzed.

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