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Discourse in Action

  1. Rodney H. Jones

Published Online: 5 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0328

The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics

How to Cite

Jones, R. H. 2012. Discourse in Action. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 NOV 2012


One of the most fundamental issues in discourse studies is understanding the relationship between what we say and write and what we do, that is, the relationship between discourse and action. Nearly all mainstream approaches to discourse analysis begin with the assumption that discourse itself is a kind of social action. Conversation analysts, for example, see talk as a matter of “paired action,” genre analysts speak of genres as examples of “communicative actions,” interactional sociolinguists focus on how people strategize discursive actions within an ongoing negotiative process with other social actors, and critical discourse analysts remind us that discourse constitutes and is constitutive of what they call “social practice.”


  • discourse analysis;
  • language and social interaction;
  • research methods in applied linguistics