Discourse and Pragmatics Lecture 2 Meditaed Discourse Analysis Task • Discuss your sites of investigation • Talk about what kinds of discourse you are likely to find there Review • Discourse • Language beyond the level of the sentence/clause • Language ‘in use’ • Discourse as a matter of action • We ‘do things’ with discourse Traditional Approach • Look for a text (or conversation) and analyze it • Take into account the social context (including the actions it is being used to take) • Problems • Why choose this text? • What’s the text, what’s the context? • Example: Computerized Classrooms Task: MMLC • Watch the video • What are the people doing? • What kinds of tools are they using to do it? • How is the discourse being used? Mediated Discourse Analysis ‘Actions speak louder than words’ Meidatied Discourse Analysis • STARTS WITH ACTION • Rather than looking at the discourse and trying to figure out its relationship to action • Looks at the actions and asks (if and) how discourse is being to take them. • First question: What’s going on here? • Identify the key actions • Don’t waste your time studying discourse that is not linked to key actions Actions • Our lives are made up of actions • When we take actions we show • Who we think we are • Who we think other people are • All actions are mediated through cultural tools • So the actions we take (and the identities that go along with them) depend on what kinds of cultural tools are available to us Mediated Discourse Analysis ACTION Actor Other Mediation Other Actor Cultural Tools ACTION Cultural Tools • ‘Technical Tools’ • Texts • Both verbal and visual • Machines • Objects • Bodies/People • Semiotic (symbolic) Tools • Languages • Counting systems • Genres, social languages and other ways of speaking • Time • Rules • Systems • Social Identity Labels • ‘Communities’ • Memories Examples Task: Buying a cup of Coffee • List all of the actions involved in buying a cup of coffee at PC or Starbucks • List the cultural tools (technical and semiotic) that are used to take these actions • Consider how these tools make some actions more possible and other actions less possible Affordances and Constraints • Cultural tools make some kinds of actions more possible and other kinds less possible • A microphone • Therefore, they make some kinds of identities more possible and others less possible • Medical charts • Tools accumulate the histories of their previous use Actions and Social Practices • Actions follow other actions and precede other actions • ‘Chains of action’ Action Action Action Action Higher Order and Lower Order actions • Smaller actions go into making larger actions Higher Order Action Action Action Action Action Actions and Social Practices • Certain sequences are performed over and over again by the same people • ‘Habitus’ (Bourdieu) • ‘Community of Practice’ (Lave and Wenger) Social Practice Action Action Action Action ‘Habitus’ • Habits • systems of durable, transposable dispositions, structured structures predisposed to function as structuring structures, that is, as principles which generate and organize practices and representations that can be objectively adapted to their outcomes without presupposing a conscious aiming at ends or an express mastery of the operations necessary in order to attain them. The ‘Historical Body’ • Habitus ‘may be regarded as a compost heap of social practices, his or her individual habitus which is the residue of earlier life experiences becomes detritus to be worn away to create humas for the ontogenesis of new social practices’ (S. Scollon 2003:168) • ‘Karma’ • Actions, conditions and results • Growth and ‘ripening’ • Each action is a seed which grows or evolves into our experience of the world. Every action either starts a new growth process or reinforces an old one. • Experiences shape how we perceive the world in subsequent action The ‘Historical Body’ and the ‘Community’ Social Practice Social Identities Imputing Identity Claiming Identity Other Actor Cultural Tools Affordances Constraints ACTION Discourse Identities Action Action Action Action Claiming and Imputing Identity • Condoms • ‘If he really loves me and I trust him, then he doesn’t have to use it.’ Agency • Who is responsible for actions • ‘Distributed Agency’ • Social actor • Cultural Tool • Social Practice • Married? • What’s going on? • Are you filling out the form • Or is the form filling out you How we are controlled by mediated actions • • • • What tools are available to us Affordances and constraints The pressure of practices The funnel of commitment Availability, Affordances and Constraints • Different tools available to different people in the interaction • Coffee Shop • Workplace Interaction • Different tools make different kinds of action possible The Pressure of Practice Claiming Identity Actor Imputing Identity Other The Funnel of Commitment • ‘One thing leads to the other’ • With each successive action, the ‘practice’ becomes more complete • With each successive action, the chain of actions becomes more difficult to reverse Action Action Action Action Imputing Identity Claiming Identity Other Actor Cultural Tools Affordances Constraints ACTION Action Action Action Action Agency Imputing Identity Claiming Identity Agency Agency Other Actor Cultural Tools Affordances Constraints ACTION Action Action Action Agency Action How we adapt tools to our special circumstances • Appropriation • Adaptation • Mixing (heteroglossia) Tension • ‘tension between the mediational means as provided in the sociocultural setting and the unique contextualized use of these means in carrying out particular concrete actions’ (Wertsch 1994: 205). Method of Analysis • Nexus Analysis Discourses in Place Interaction Order Historical Body Historical Body Discourses in Place Historical Body Interaction Order Discourses in Place Historical Body Counter-Strike Discourses in Place Discourses in Place Interaction Order Interaction Order ‘You learn how to build up social networks. You learn how to interact with others. Rules about how to act. You get to learn all that stuff.’ ‘Identities of Expertise’ ‘I have no trouble studying and memorizing things and playing games. I think it works quite well. Faster. As I have to think while playing games. I have already started thinking, My brain is already functioning. So it is faster for me to study.’ Interaction Order Discourses in Place ‘Our teacher uses computers to teach book content.’ Historical Body Discourses in Place Interaction Order Historical Body Task: Nexus Analysis • Look at the interaction from last week • Discuss • What are the actions being taken by each actor • What are the tools available to each actor • What kinds of actions and identities do these tools make possible • What is the ‘interaction order’ • What practices are subsumed into the historcial bodies of the actors?