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Title: Anthropology of discourse
Authors: Briggs, Charles L. 1953-
Date: 2001
Source: International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Pp. 3732-3736. Elsevier
Abstract: Theories of language and discourse have long played a key role in shaping models of culture and methods for analyzing it. In the 1980s and 1990s, many anthropologists deemed the study of discourse to be central. But while some adopted poststructuralist and postmodern notions of discourses as relations of power that shape possibilities for thought and action, others took an empiricist turn, attempting to limit the study of discourse to highly detailed analyses of ‘naturally’ situated conversations, narratives, and other forms. This essay focuses particularly on recent analytic frameworks that open up possiblities for merging critical and empirical traditions, including Bourdieu's emphasis on symbolic capital, analyses of the political-economic foundations and effects of language ideologies, the discursive constitution of ‘public sphere,’ and critical discourse analysis.
Format: reference entry
Online: View Article
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