Discourse: The Basics  book cover
1st Edition

Discourse: The Basics

ISBN 9780415856553
Published May 17, 2017 by Routledge
228 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Humans are social animals and are constantly interacting with each other through conversation, written communication, symbols and other expressions . Discourse: The Basics is an accessible and engaging introduction to the analysis of those interactions and the many forms and meanings they can take. The book draws on a range of international case studies and examples from literature, political speech, advertising and newspaper articles to address key questions such as:

  • What is discourse?
  • Why are there different approaches to understanding discourse?
  • How are individual interactions connected with the larger discourses that frame our ways of thinking and behaving?
  • How can discourse be analysed and researched?

Discourse: The Basics includes subject summaries, a glossary of key terms and suggestions for further reading. It will be of particular relevance to students of language and the social sciences but also useful to all students who are interested in how meanings are made.

Table of Contents


  1. Defining Discourse
  2. Discourse and Context: a practical exercise
  3. Language, Thought and Discourse
  4. Language, Society and Discourse
  5. Discourse and Metaphor
  6. Discourse and Rhetoric
  7. Discourse and Interactivity
  8. Discourse and Narrative
  9. Discourse and Identity
  10. Collecting and Representing Discourse


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Angela Goddard is a Professor of English Language, a UK Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellow, and Chair of Examiners for English Language A Level at a UK examination board.

Neil Carey is Principal Lecturer for Internationalisation in the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.


"Discourse: The Basics is an accessible and authoritative exploration of what 'discourse' is and how 'discourse' works that draws on a range of illustrative case studies to enrich understanding for students and teachers. A must read for undergraduates and of relevance to researchers and a wider readership."
Mark Vicars, Victoria University, Australia

"A concise and engaging introduction to discourse analysis, providing a fascinating overview of approaches to conceptualising and investigating language. The account assumes no prior knowledge and is easy to navigate, making this a valuable resource for students across disciplines at undergraduate or postgraduate level. Key concepts are fully explained and richly illustrated drawing on examples from everyday experience that give a deceptively light touch to complex material. Crystal clear writing makes this a very satisfying and enjoyable read."
Georgina Glenny, Oxford Brookes University, UK