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The term “discourse” has a variety of meanings both within linguistics and outside of it and, correspondingly, discourse analysis refers to a wide range of analytic methods. In this chapter, we will focus on methods of discourse analysis that are associated with sociocultural linguistics, “a broad interdisciplinary field . . . encompassing the subfields of sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology, among others” (Bucholtz and Hall 2005: 586). Given our emphasis on socially oriented approaches to discourse analysis, following Schiffrin (1994: 415) we define discourse as language embedded in social interaction – that is, unlike approaches to discourse that conceptualize it as a linguistic unit commensurate with (but larger than) a sentence or a morpheme, we regard discourse as fundamentally different from these other kinds of linguistic units. Under a formalist definition of discourse, for example, the organization of words into sentences is regarded as equivalent to the organization of sentences into discourse (see Kamp and Reyle 1993 and Lambrecht 1994 for more on the treatment of discourse from a formal perspective). Yet, as both Schiffrin (1994) and Cameron (2001) have pointed out, the process of determining whether a string of words constitutes a grammatical sentence or not relies upon linguistic knowledge, in contrast to the process of imposing coherence on a string of sentences (i.e., interpreting them as a discourse), which involves, for the most part, the mobilization of non-linguistic and contextual knowledge. Put another way, “discourse is not amenable to a ‘pure’ formalist analysis” (Cameron 2001: 13) in the way that other kinds of linguistic units are.