Everyday Talk, First Edition: Building and Reflecting Identities / Edition 1

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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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book has been an excellent text for the introductory course in our major. Our undergraduates have found it readable and compelling, and the conceptual framework of the book has served as a sophisticated background for the range of central ideas we need to cover. The book would also work well in interpersonal or intercultural communication and in persuasion courses. It is grounded in literature that is extensive and varied, yet always coherently presented. Students especially appreciate the many excellent concrete examples which add both life and precision to a complex system of ideas."--Kristine L. Fitch, University of Iowa

"I am very impressed by this book, and use it in my undergraduate/graduate course, 'Language and Meaning.' The students find it readable yet challenging. Tracy shows an impressive command of the diverse literature of language and social interaction research, and has selected some provocative as well as classic works. She provides an insightful reading of these studies, makes interesting connections, and captures the importance of various lines of work. Readable and broad in scope, this book is easily the best of its kind to date."--Richard Buttny, Syracuse University

"With its comprehensive coverage of the range of discourse analytic research, Tracy's book is essential reading for anyone interested in everyday talk and identity. This book is unique in adopting rhetorical and cultural perspectives in linking discourse and identity. Providing a wealth of conversational examples in each chapter, the author shows great sensitivity to the discursive practices within, as well as outside, the United States. Insightful summaries of the literature are supplemented by rich and easy-to-understand examples. I can't think of a better text for teaching my undergraduate seminar in communication and culture with a focus on discursive practices."--Mariko Kotani, PhD, Department of English, Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan

"This is a very useful textbook for introductory courses in interpersonal communication--an exciting alternative to most other books on the market! Tracy makes accessible to a novice audience concepts from various discourse-centered fields of study. Her engaging writing style and use of examples from everyday life give the book student appeal without compromising a solid foundation in empirical research."--Daena J. Goldsmith, PhD, Department of Speech Communication, University of Illinois

"This book provides a much needed and highly readable synthesis of research on interaction processes and their applications to identity construction, identity management, and the co-construction of meaning. Examples are drawn from a wide range of situations, including ordinary conversation, gendered communication, intercultural interactions, job interviews, and political debates. The scope of the text gives it broad utility. Not only will it serve well as a primary text for courses in conversational processes, but it will also function well as a supplementary text in courses on intercultural communication, interpersonal and family communication, and organizational communication, as well as introductory social psychology courses. In short, this text will be useful and relevant for any undergraduate or graduate course that addresses how the dynamics of talk function to construct and reflect social identities."--Sandra Metts, Illinois State University

Tracy's (communication, U. of Colorado) introductory text exploring everyday talk<-->the communication people do in schools, workplaces, shops, and at public meetings, as well as at home with family, or with their friends<-->and the many ways it reflects, sustains, builds, and challenges who people are. Designed for undergraduate students with no prior coursework in communications, the text is also suitable for graduate students and academics new to discourse studies. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572307896
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/12/2002
  • Series: The Guilford Communication Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 230
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

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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Table of Contents

I. The Argument
1. Talk and Identity
2. Two Perspectives

II. Talk's Building Blocks
3. Person-Referencing Practices
4. Speech Acts
5. The Sound of Talk
6. Language Selection

III. Complex Discourse Practices
7. Interaction Structures
8. Direct or Indirect Style
9. Narratives
10. Stance Indicators

IV. The Conclusion
11. Final Thoughts

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