Prior to beginning work on this discussion, read Chapter 5: Participants in Discourse: Relationships, Roles, Identities in your textbook Discourse Analysis, and watch the videos What is Footing?, Introducing Goffman’s Participation Framework (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and Indexations and Demonstratives (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Spend some time this week observing and listening to the conversations that take place around you, as well as thinking about conversations in which you have participated during the week. In this discussion, you will explore the theme of discourse as a social practice by considering the real-life conversations that you experience and how social roles and identities impact those exchanges.
Choose two conversations, either spoken or written, that you have found particularly interesting or significant. These can be conversations in which you have participated, or conversations which you have merely observed. Some examples might include conversations between the following: a parent and child, two roommates, spouses or domestic partners, two friends having coffee, an employee and boss, two employees at the same company, dueling celebrities or pundits on Twitter, or friends on a Facebook thread. The conversations you choose should be substantial enough for analysis (i.e., 3 to 4 minutes for a spoken conversation; at least 250 words for a Twitter exchange or interchange on Facebook). Remember to protect the privacy of the participants in a discussion; you can do this by keeping them anonymous (changing names, etc.).
In your initial posting,
Describe each conversation briefly. What is the topic of each? What is the context of the conversation (i.e., location or medium)?
Describe the relationship between the participants in terms of power and solidarity. What is the nature of the relationship? Is it symmetrical or asymmetrical? Does difference in status play a role?
Discuss how social roles and participation frameworks are established during the conversation. What choices do you see being made to consciously (or perhaps even unconsciously) establish those roles and frameworks?
Apply the principle of indexicality to the conversation. In what ways are the participants creating a social context or meaning through elements such as shared knowledge or language use?
Explain the stance taken by each participant and how that stance is reflected in the style of discourse.
Assess how the participants establish a specific social identity (identification with a specific community, group, gender, etc.) that impacts their language choices. Consider how personal identity shapes social roles, stance, language use, and meaning.
Your initial post is due by Day 3 and must be at least 500 words in length.