Book ReviewsVol. 17, No. 2 (2017)

Discourse Analysis: The Questions Discourse Analysts Ask and How They Answer Them

Carol Hoi Yee Lo

Teachers College, Columbia University

Abstract

To say that discourse analysis is a chameleon in the social sciences would not be an overstatement; it is a research method, a perspective, and a subject in its own right. It is employed and studied by scholars in a wide range of disciplines, including linguistics, applied linguistics, sociology, anthropology, psychology, education, and many more. The multi- and inter-disciplinary nature of discourse analysis, however, is both the reason for its appeal and a source of confusion for beginning analysts. Discourse Analysis: The Questions Analysts Ask and How They Answer Them sets out to identify core inquiries that discourse analysts aspire to answer. Inspired by years of teaching Discourse Analysis at the graduate level, Waring’s goal is to “introduce [the] vastness and diversity [of discourse analysis] to beginning students of discourse” by presenting “the kinds of questions discourse analysts ask and how they answer them” (p. 3-4). This book, then, seeks to help readers cultivate a principled understanding of what it means to do discourse analysis.