You are here

Social Research Methods

green line


Transcribing for Social Research

Alexa Hepburn, Galina B. Bolden


How can we capture the words, gestures and conduct of study participants? How do we transcribe what happens in social interactions in analytically useful ways? How could systematic and detailed transcription practices benefit research?

Transcribing for Social Research describes and assesses key methodological and epistemological debates about the status of transcription research, while also setting out best practice for handling different types of data and forms of social interaction.

Listen to audio sample


Listen to speech samples included in the online student resources to practise your transcription skills as you work through the book, and take end of chapter quizzes to test understanding

"The authors’ calm and well-organised coverage pays tribute to a generous variety of transcription styles in the Conversation Analysis tradition. The book is an invaluable source of techniques for capturing the words, whoops, gulps, sighs, eyebrow-flashes and head-nods of language in all the complexity of its performance."

Charles Antaki
Loughborough University


Discourses and narratives are crucial in how we understand a world of rapid changes. Below you’ll find a range of free chapters and journal articles written by leading names in the field from some of our textbooks and journals on discourse and narrative methods


Keller Doing Discourse Research

The Current Relevance of Discourse Research
Reiner Keller

“In analyses of the social significance of knowledge and symbolic orders, in recent years, the terms discourse, discourse theory and Discourse Analysis have gained enormously in importance”


Cameron Working with Written Discourse

Discourse & Discourse Analysis
Deborah Cameron and Ivan Panović

“Definitions of discourse are many and varied, but most are variations on the following three themes:
1. Discourse is language ‘above the sentence’.
2. Discourse is language ‘in use’.
3. Discourse is a form of social practice in which language plays a central role”


Discourse analysis as immanent critique: Possibilities and limits of normative critique in empirical discourse studies
Benno Herzog

“This article attempts to find theoretically robust and practical answers to the following question: ‘How is a normative critique possible?’”


Machin How to Do Critical Discourse Analysis

Making Active Choices: Language as a set of Resources
David Machin & Andrea Mayr

“In linguistics there have been a number of positions regarding the relationship between language and thought […]This provides us with a clear foundation for the theory of language and visual communication”


Wodak Methods of Critical Discourse Studies

Critical Discourse Studies: History, Agenda, Theory & Methodology
Ruth Wodak & Michael Meyer

“The manifold roots of critical discourse studies lie in rhetoric, text linguistics, anthropology, philosophy, social psychology, cognitive science, literary studies and sociolinguistics, as well as in applied linguistics and pragmatics”


Discursive Reflexivity in the Ethnography of Communication: Cultural Discourse Analysis
Donal Carbaugh, Elena V. Nuciforo, Elizabeth Molina-Markham, and Brion van Over

“This article is a creative reconstruction of reflexivity as it operates for some practitioners of the ethnography of communication. Our central concern is conceptualized as “discursive reflexivity”; with that concept, we foreground communication both as primary data and as our primary theoretical concern”


Andrews Doing Narrative Research

What is Narrative Research?
Corrine Squire, Molly Andrews & Maria Tamboukou

“In the last three decades, narrative has acquired an increasingly high profile in social research, following a series of ‘narrative turns’ in other disciplinary fields, like history and literary studies (Hyvärinen, 2010). It often seems as if all social researchers are doing narrative research in some way”


Bischoping Analyzing Talk in the Social Sciences

Broad Strokes Approaches to Narrative Analysis
Katherine Bischoping & Amber Gazso

“Narrative analysis will appeal to you if you are a humanist, interested in understanding individuals’ and communities’ quests for meaning. Narratives tell us about the perceptions individuals and communities have of everyday life experiences and about how what is meaningful is expressed”


The strategic plan as a genre
Francis Cornut, Hélène Giroux and Ann Langley

“Using a large corpus of strategic plans from public and third sector organizations, this article examines the particular features of the strategic plan genre of communication”


Livholts Discourse and Narrative Methods

Narrative Phenomena: Entanglements and Intra-actions in Narrative Research
Maria Tamboukou

“The task of the narrative researcher is to map ‘the narrative phenomena’ she is working with and trace the emergence of entities, be they stories, themes, discourses, modes and of course narrative figures”


Fitzgerald Advances in Membership Categorisation Analysis

Introduction to Membership Categorisation Analysis
William Housley & Richard Fitzgerald

“Membership Categorisation Analysis (MCA) refers to the study of the range of practices that members of a given speech community deploy alongside complementary and aligned ethnomethods in the routine accomplishment of everyday social interaction”


29 Results Found