This book is a critical introduction to discourse analysis as it is practised in a variety of different disciplines today, from linguistics and sociolinguistics to sociology and cultural studies. The author shows how concern with the analysis of discourse can be combined, in a systematic and fruitful way, with an interest in broader problems of social analysis and social change.
Fairclough provides a concise and critical review of the methods and results of discourse analysis, discussing the descriptive work of linguists and conversation analysts as well as the more historically and theoretically oriented work of Michel Foucault. He develops an original framework for discourse analysis which firmly situates discourse in a broader context of social relations bringing together text analysis, the analysis of processes of text production and interpretation, and the social analysis of discourse events.
If you're looking for something practical and accessible, and you know next to nothing about Discourse Analysis, this book should be a perfect introduction to this subject. It's not difficult to understand what Fairclough is saying, in spite of the depth of what's being addressed in this book.