Talk and Social Theory

Talk and Social Theory : Ecologies of Speaking and Listening in Everyday Life

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Talk and Social Theory will be an essential text for students of sociolinguistics and the analysis of discourse in conversation.

introduces the study of 'talk' linked to social theory;
develops a new theoretical argument that reviews the relations between local social practices and general societal processes of talk;
the use of everyday examples - a family dinner table, a school classroom, an academic advising session in an community college - enhances the book s appeal to a non-specialist as well as a specialist audience;
reviews the key theoretical perspectives and conceptual frameworks in social theory and in the sociolinguistic study of talk.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 232 pages
  • 147.3 x 231.1 x 22.9mm | 476.28g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • 0745624707
  • 9780745624709

Back cover copy

Talk and Social Theory is an inportant contribution to our understanding of everyday talk and its relation to broader social processes. Talk is unique and locally produced, crafted by particular social actors for the specific situation of its use. Yet the conduct of such talk is profoundly influenced by, and influential upon, social and cultural processes that occur beyond the temporal and spatial horizon of the occasion of the talk itself. Drawing on and criticizing social theory, Erickson explores the mutually reinforcing connections between the local conduct of talk and the general working of society, economy, and history.

The use of everyday examples enhances the appeal of Talk and Social Theory to a non-specialist as well as a specialist audience. Written in a clear and comprehensible way, it reviews key theoretical prospectives and conceptual frameworks in social theory and in the sociolinguistic study of talk. It concludes with an argument against overly determinist accounts of talk as social action, in the interest of better construction of social theory and better empirical study of talk.

This book will be an essential text for students of sociolinguistics and the analysis of discourse in conversation. It will also be of interest to students in sociology, anthropology, social theory, education, linguistics, applied linguistics, and anyone concerned with the nature and uses of language in social interaction.
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Table of contents



PART ONE: Examples of the conduct of talk.

1. Sketching the terrain.

2. Seventy-five dollars goes in a day.

3. I can make a "P".

4. You wrestlin ?.

5. He has no history of IVDA.

PART TWO: Thinking about talk and social theory.

6. General perspectives on talk and social theory.

7 Toward a more practical theory of practices in talk.

8 Summing up.

Further Reading.


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Review quote

"This latest book by Erickson addresses an issue that is very timely and topical ... the puzzle it seeks to crack is one that has long haunted researchers in social sciences and related areas." Journal of Sociolinguistics "I cannot think of another social science scholar who has done more to move qualitative research and methodology in creative directions!among the most important contributions to social theory in recent years." Regina Smardon, University of Pennsylvania "Frederick Erickson is someone who illuminates details of talk and interaction. More than that, he illuminates where we stand in making sense of human life in terms of social theory. This is a book not to be missed." Dell Hymes, University of Virginia
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About Frederick Erickson

Frederick Erickson is George F. Kneller Professor of Anthropology of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles.
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Rating details

27 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 33% (9)
4 37% (10)
3 26% (7)
2 4% (1)
1 0% (0)
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