Discourse Analysis beyond the Speech Event  book cover
1st Edition

Discourse Analysis beyond the Speech Event

ISBN 9780415839501
Published January 12, 2015 by Routledge
206 Pages

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Book Description

Winner of the 2016 Edward Sapir Book Prize from the Society for Linguistic Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association

Discourse Analysis beyond the Speech Event introduces a new approach to discourse analysis. In this innovative work, Wortham and Reyes argue that discourse analysts should look beyond fixed speech events and consider the development of discourses over time. Drawing on theories and methods from linguistic anthropology and related fields, this book is the first to present a systematic methodological approach to conducting discourse analysis of linked events, allowing researchers to understand not only individual events but also the patterns that emerge across them.

Discourse Analysis beyond the Speech Event

  • Provides a method for detailed examination of speech, writing and other communication 
  • Introduces students and researchers to the discourse analytic tools and techniques required to analyse the relationships between discourse events
  • Offers explicit guidelines that direct the reader through different stages of discourse analytic research, including worked examples from conversation, magazines and social media
  • Incorporates sample analyses from ethnographic, archival and new media data.

This book is essential reading for advanced students and researchers working in the area of discourse analysis.

Table of Contents

1 Discourse analysis across events

2 Central tools and techniques

3 Discourse analysis of ethnographic data

4 Discourse analysis of archival data

5 Discourse analysis of new media data

6 Conclusions

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Stanton Wortham is Judy and Howard Berkowitz Professor at Penn GSE. He has written on classroom discourse and the linguistic anthropology of education, interactional positioning in media discourse and autobiographical narrative, and Mexican immigrant communities in the New Latino Diaspora.

Angela Reyes is Associate Professor of English (Linguistics) at Hunter College and Doctoral Faculty in Anthropology at The Graduate Center, CUNY. She has written on language and racialization, Asian American youth, and ideologies of mixed race/language in the Philippines.


In Discourse Analysis beyond the Speech Event Wortham and Reyes reassuringly and surefootedly lead the would-be student of social life to a sophisticated methodological place: being able to interpret an interaction as a moment of connected cultural practices, and being able to render the found artifacts of culture – print, digital, and otherwise – social sites that discursively interact. Drawing richly on their own and others’ empirical materials, it is an achievement bespeaking the characteristic lucidity and virtuosity of its authors.
Michael Silverstein, University of Chicago, USA

Discourse Analysis beyond the Speech Event provides a useful, clearly illustrated heuristic for anyone interested in seeing how social meaning emerges and circulates in and across interactions.
Barbara Johnstone, Carnegie Mellon University, USA

Wortham and Reyes have developed a timely and much needed adjustment of discourse-analytical frameworks to the realities of transcontextual mobilities of texts, signs and meanings. Theoretically astute, technically sophisticated, yet written in an accessible way, this book must become a classic.
Jan Blommaert, Tilburg University, The Netherlands