Communication Practice in a Text:

By not waiting for an answer, though, “S” also deflects attention from the Prague issue. Second, by changing the subject to “oh were all going to see Judge Jewels arent we on the Thursday second November obviously” “S” brings up something else before committing to going, perhaps implying she wishes to still remain non-committal about Prague, but also reconfirm their friendship by reminding “A” about Judge Jewels, a social engagement (even if “S” doesnt go to Prague) that would “obviously” include “A.”

But then “A” asks (about Judge Jewels) “whens thatd” replies “Thursday second of November,” but then “A” repeats the question: “whene that.” “S” says, again: “Thursday.” “A” then asks “S”: “whens that (.) you know what I mean.”

The implication of “whens that (.) you know what I mean” is apparently clear to both speakers (but not to someone reading a transcription of the conversation).

Then “S” reminds “A”: “Thursday we get back to college,” and “A” replies “mm,” perhaps signaling (as “S” had done earlier in response to the Prague invitation) non-commitment.

Then “S” presses the matter (as “A” had done earlier, about Prague) adding: “i think anyway (3)and were all going to dress up totally.” “A” wants to know the price, which “S” can only estimate: “dunno (1) probably just a tenner” (which, according to “S” is excellent,” a further attempt at convincing “A” to go to Judge Jewels. “A” next wants to know: “On Thursday where,” but “S,” without answering that question, adds: itll be so much fun cos everyone wo goes theres really serious and about their clubbing and stuff and they all face the (1) dj box and theyre like.”

Then “A,” implying she has already had a similar experience elsewhere, says “they do that at shindig.

” “S,” by way of reply, only mumbles, and then “A” repeats they do that at shindig.” “S,” seemingly ignoring both references to “the shindig” goes right on with “and um they just its excellent it was brilliant last time.”

Using Foucaults (1970a; 1970b; 1972; 1980) of: (1) language; (2) power; (3) context; and (4) relationship, the examined language discourse is an example of a casual conversation about possible social plans, between two college friends, neither of whom holds a position of external power over the other. The context, then, is one of equals. Therefore, in terms of relationship, which inevitably affects both language and context (Foucault, 1970a) the two friends feel they can be perfectly honest about what they do or do not want to do socially.. The conversational medium is unclear, but it is likely either face-to-face or telephone.

According to Faircloughs criteria, (1) social identities; (2) social relations; and (3) systems of knowledge or belief affecting language content and context, the social identities are those of female college students; the social relations are those of equals, and the systems of knowledge or belief affecting language content and context are equally understood by each (and, by implication, other friends within their peer group) although not necessarily by others outside the social circle and/or conversational context. Based on their shared systems of knowledge, the friends take turns trying to persuade one another of the benefits of one or another social plan.


Bee, S.B., 2001, Critical discourse analysis of the Mission Statement of Education in Singapore. Paper Presented at the AARE 2001 Conference, n.p.]. 2-6 December 2001.

Fairclough, N., 1995, Critical discourse analysis: The critical study of language,

London, Longman.

Foucault, M, 1970a, Discipline and.

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