'Identity' is a central organizing feature of our social world. Across the
social sciences and humanities, it is increasingly treated as something
that is actively and publicly accomplished in discourse. This book defines
identity in its broadest sense, in terms of how people display who they are
to each other. Each chapter examines a different discursive environment in
which people do 'identity work': everyday conversation, institutional
settings, narrative and stories, commodified contexts, spatial locations,
and virtual environments.
The authors describe and demonstrate a range of discourse and interaction
analytic methods as they are put to use in the study of identity, including
'performative' analyses, conversation analysis, membership categorization
analysis, critical discourse analysis, narrative analysis, positioning
theory, discursive psychology and politeness theory. The book aims to give
readers a clear sense of the coherence (or otherwise) of these different
approaches, the practical steps taken in analysis, and their situation
within broader critical debates. Through the use of detailed and original
'identity' case studies in a variety of spoken and written texts in order,
the book offers a practical and accessible insight into what the discursive
accomplishment of identity actually looks like, and how to go about
*Accessible introduction to the study of discourse and identity across a
variety of contexts.
*Interdisciplinary in scope, the book is relevant to a wide range of
courses such as English language and linguistics, psychology, media,
cultural studies, gender studies and sociology.
*Each chapter includes a critical overview of work in the area, original
case studies, practical instruction for analyses, points for further
discussion and suggested reading.
'A deft and highly accessible overview of a complex emerging body of
knowledge. ... The first scholarly map of the field and is a 'must own
book' for every identity researcher.' - Professor Margaret Wetherell, The
'A richly detailed and usefully opinionated guidebook to a growing area of
scholarship.' - Mary Bucholtz, University of California, Santa Barbara
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