James Paul Gee
The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, Willey-Blackwell
Publication year: 2013

Discourse analysis is the study of language in use (Fairclough, 1992; Gee, 1999). When we use language to communicate we must signal to our listeners who we are (in the sense of what socially meaningful identity or role we are speaking out of) and what we are doing (what action or activity we are attempting to carry out). People talk and act not just as individuals, but as members of various sorts of social and cultural groups associated with different identities.