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Data collection and transcription in discourse analysis: a technological history

Jones, R. ORCID: (2021) Data collection and transcription in discourse analysis: a technological history. In: Hyland, K., Paltridge, B. and Wong, L. (eds.) The Bloomsbury Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Bloomsbury Handbooks. Bloomsbury, London, pp. 9-20. ISBN 9781350156098

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Since the publication of Elinor Ochs’s groundbreaking 1979 article ‘Transcription as Theory’, it has become axiomatic that data collection and transcription are affected by the theoretical interests of the analyst, which inevitably determine which aspects of an interaction will be attended to and how they will be represented (see also Edwards 1993, Mishler 1991). Since then, much of the debate around transcription has focused on choosing the ‘best system’ for transcribing spoken discourse (see for example DuBois et al. 1993, Psathas and Anderson, 1990) or ‘multimodal interaction’ (Baldry and Thibault 2006, Norris 2004) in order to serve the theoretical demands of particular approaches to discourse, or arguing about the need for standardization in transcription conventions (Bucholtz 2007, Lapadat and Lindsay 1999). In order to productively engage in such debates, however, it is necessary to consider more practical questions about data collection and transcription having to do with the materiality of what we call data and the effects of the technologies we use to collect and transcribe it on the ways we are able to formulate theories about discourse in the first place. The focus of this chapter will be less on narrow questions about the best way to collect and transcribe data and more on data collection and analysis as cultural and material practices of discourse analysts (Jaffe 2007). In particular I will focus on how, over the past half century, these practices have been affected by different technologies such as tape-recorders, video cameras and computers, each of which made new kinds of knowledge and new kinds of disciplinary identities possible, and each of which fundamentally changed our understanding of discourse itself.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:104803


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