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Discourse, a term associated with the linguistic turn in social theory, has come into use as a way of rethinking method and measurement in the social sciences. Discourse, however, should not be confused with ordinary language use in speech, writing, or conversation. Discourse properly refers to the practical use of language (broadly conceived) for the purposes of examining or otherwise criticizing the normal course of actions. Here, actions would include, of course, the action of writing or speaking, as well as political, economic, and social actions. The English language term, discourse, derives from a now obsolete Latin word, discursus, which included among its meanings “running to-and-fro.” When used in social theory, discourse, thereby, might best be restricted to practices of language that run “to-and-fro” ...

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