Mediated Discourse: The Nexus of Practice sets out a discursive theory of human action.
Language and action are intimately related. The difficult question to answer is how they are related. Mediated Discourse Theory looks into social relationships to see how the use of language is both a form of action in itself and is also indirectly related to all other forms of human action.
Through the empirical study of a one year old child learning to exchange objects with caregivers, Scollon challenges the commonly held claim that all practices are represented in discourse and that all discourse has the function of structuring practice.
Calling upon work in interactional sociolinguistics, critical discourse analysis, anthropological linguistics, sociocultural psychology, and intercultural communication, the Mediated Discourse Theory set out in this book resolves current problematic issues such as how practices are learned across the boundaries of groups and how individuals come to be socialized as social actors.
Ron Scollon is Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University, USA.