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Spoken Discourse.


Spoken Discourse

Rodney H. Jones



219 pages


Bloomsbury Discourse


Jones offers this compact text on spoken discourse intended to be appropriate for but not limited to use as a textbook in linguistics, sociology, media studies, and others. The book starts from basics by defining spoken discourse as distinct from speech in that discourse includes the reciprocal interactions of linguistic and paralinguistic meaning with social contexts, then builds an interdisciplinary framework for studying spoken discourse using tools from linguistics, sociology, anthropology, and critical theory. The book then builds from units of meaning up to larger social dynamics, first starting with "technologies" of speech including the semiotics of intonation, nonverbal behavior, speech genres, identity signifiers, and physical context. Discourse is modeled alternatively as an either action in itself or mediation of other social actions, and the influence of conversational role and medium on people's behavior in discursive interactions is examined. Discussion then turns to the ways that identity inevitably participates in discourse but is also continually reconstructed by it, and how communities and institutions organize around discursive practices, becoming resources for individuals and tools for collective action. The final chapter considers ethical implications of the mediated action approach to discourse and promotes increasing social accountability as the goal of discourse studies. While various examples are used in the different chapters, a common thread of analysis of the act of "coming out" as gay runs throughout the book. ([umlaut] Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR)

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Article Type:Book review
Date:Sep 1, 2016
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