Discourse

A Critical Introduction

by Jan Blommaert

Series: Key Topics in Sociolinguistics

This engaging 2005 introduction offers a critical approach to discourse, written by an expert uniquely placed to cover the subject for a variety of disciplines. Organised along thematic lines, the book begins with an outline of the basic principles, moving on to examine the methods and theory of CDA (critical discourse analysis). It covers topics such as text and context, language and inequality, choice and determination, history and process, ideology and identity. Blommaert focuses on how language can offer a crucial understanding of wider aspects of power relations, arguing that critical discourse analysis should specifically be an analysis of the 'effects' of power, what power does to people, groups and societies, and how this impact comes about. Clearly argued, this concise introduction will be welcomed by students and researchers in a variety of disciplines involved in the study of discourse, including linguistics, linguistic anthropology and the sociology of language.

In The Press

'This is a book I wish I read in graduate school. It is exciting, interesting, and highly readable. In an advanced undergraduate, or a graduate seminar, it would provide wide opportunities for discussion. It covers far more intellectual territory than most sociolinguistic or discourse analysis texts and it ties micro and macro topics together in an intellectually satisfying fashion. … I believe this is an excellent, fascinating, wide-ranging and highly readable book. I recommend it for graduate seminars and for broadening the perspectives of long established professionals. Blommaert successfully draws a broad array of intellectual contributions into the study of meaningful symbolic behavior.' Journal of Sociolinguistics