Deborah Tannen
 


 

Family Talk:
Discourse and Identity in
Four American Families

Edited by Deborah Tannen, Shari Kendall and Cynthia Gordon

Oxford University Press, 2007

Through everyday talk, individuals forge the ties that can make a family. Family members use language to manage a household, create and maintain relationships, and negotiate and reinforce values and beliefs. The studies gathered in Family Talk are based on a unique research project supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in which four dual-income American families recorded everything they said for a week.  This book extends our understanding of family discourse and of how family members construct, negotiate, and enact their identities as individuals and as families. The volume also contributes to the discourse analysis of naturally‑occurring interaction and makes significant contributions to theories of framing in interaction.

Chapters address issues central to the academic discipline of discourse analysis as well as to families themselves, including decision‑making and conflict‑talk, the development of gendered family roles, sociability with and socialization of children, the development of social and political beliefs, and the interconnectedness of professional and family life. It provides illuminating insights into the subtleties of family conversation, and will be of interest to scholars and students in sociolinguistics, discourse studies, communications, anthropological linguistics, cultural studies, psychology, and other fields concerned with the language of everyday interaction or family interaction.

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Family Talk: Discourse and Identity in Four American Families

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© 2009 Deborah Tannen