Reading Practices: Ethnography of Communication and Critical Discourse Studies

Presented During:  Practices of Language, Culture, and Identity
Sponsor: Language and Social Interaction Division
Thu, 11/8: 8:00 AM  - 9:15 AM 
Salt Palace Convention Center 
Room: 255F (Level 2) 
The paper discusses the prolific contributions that ethnographic sensitivities and sensibilities can offer CDS, while at the same time bridging between CDS and core issues in contemporary communication studies. Building on Dell Hymes' (1962) Ethnography of Communication (EC), the paper illustrates ethnographic studies in and of media and communication. The core arguments cover three points. The first is that ethnographic methods should address the circumstances of discourse, or in other words the techno-material environments where discourse is produced, circulated, and received/consumed. These actual environments, the social affordances of the media that function therein, and related social practices can all be subject to a critical discourse examination. More so when what transpires there shapes public discourse in an often concealed manner. Secondly, by using Hymes' SPEAKING heuristic, the organic connection between public discourse, and the social practices of production and consumption, can be clearly illuminated. Thirdly, by addressing public-media interfaces and interactions, rich critical detail is supplied on how media institutions afford and frame public interaction and the display of public discourse. At the same time, the critical analysis of museum audience discourse sheds light on laypeople's practices of reproducing institutional discourse (i.e. hegemony), and also – albeit far less frequently –on tactics and measures of resisting it.


Chaim Noy, Bar Ilan University  - Contact Me