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Analysing Casual Conversation

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Shortlisted for the 1998 BAAL Book Prize

Analysing Casual Conversation, first published in 1997 by Cassell, develops a systematic model for the analysis and description of casual conversation in English. Working through authentic examples of casual conversations involving participants differing in age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic class, the authors argue that despite its sometimes aimless appearance and apparently unstructured content, casual conversation is a highly structured activity and plays a critical role in the social construction of reality. Drawing on insights from sociology, linguistics and critical semiotics, the book equips readers with the analytic skills to describe the layers of structure and critical interpretive frameworks to explain the ‘social work’ that goes on through chat.

Published: Jan 1, 2006