Everyday Talk: Building and Reflecting Identities

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Guilford Press, Jan 19, 2012 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 230 pages
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Learning how to listen to and analyze talk is fundamental to understanding human communication. This engaging text examines how the "little stuff" of everyday conversation--what we say and how we say it, the terms we use to refer to others, the content and style of stories we tell, and myriad other factors--expresses both who we are and who we want to be. The book draws on discourse analytic research and applies it to a wide range of real-life situations and examples, including private conversations among friends and family as well as interchanges in the classroom, workplace, and public settings. Interweaving rhetorical and cultural perspectives, the author gives particular attention to the ways talk reflects communicators' cultural and social background, nationality, ethnicity, social class, and gender, as well as the dynamics between particular conversational partners. Illuminated is the complex role that talking plays in building relationships and creating--and hopefully, resolving--relational problems.
 

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Contents

Talk and Identity
3
Why Is Understanding the Link between Everyday Talk and Identity So Important?
5
Information Exchange?
6
Interactional Meanings and IdentityWork
7
What Does Identity Mean?
17
What Are Discursive Practices?
21
Summary
24
Two Perspectives
25
Complex Discourse Practices
111
Interaction Structures
113
Adjacency Pairs
114
Turn Taking
117
Turn Taking in Institutional Encounters
119
The Remedial Interchange
126
Speech Community Differences
127
Summary
128

The Rhetorical Perspective
26
The Cultural Perspective
34
The Relationship between the Rhetorical and the Cultural Perspectives
40
Summary
42
Talks Building Blocks
43
PersonReferencing Practices
45
Marital Names
46
Personal Address
49
Ethnicity and RaceLinked References
52
GenderLinked References
55
The Membership Categorization Device
57
Summary
60
Speech Acts
62
Philosophical Background
63
Links between Speech Acts and Identities
65
Especially FaceThreatening Speech Acts
72
Summary
84
The Sound of Talk
85
Transcription
86
The IdentityWork of Paralinguistic Devices
87
Meanings of Stable Features of Voice
91
Dialect or Accent
93
Summary
99
Language Selection
101
Speaking English and American Identity
105
Summary
110
Direct or Indirect Style
130
Speech Acts
132
Other Facets of Style Directness
138
Summary
146
Narratives
148
Everyday Narratives and Their Key Features
149
Functions of Narratives
157
Cultural Differences
166
Summary
171
Stance Indicators
172
Interest and Involvement and Their Opposites
174
Marked and Unmarked Forms
176
Deceit?
182
Summary
184
The Conclusion
185
Final Thoughts
187
Multiple Communicative Goals and Dilemmas
188
Talk and Institutional Identity
189
A Gift Not a Distortion
190
Communicative Effectiveness and Phronesis
191
Notes
193
References
209
Index
226
About the Author
230
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Karen Tracy is Professor of Communication at the University of Colorado. The author of one previous book and more than 40 articles and book chapters, she has served as editor of Research on Language and Social Interaction.

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