This chapter provides a reflection on the discipline of discourse analysis and its connections with linguistic ethnography. It adopts a broad definition of discourse, and explains the history of the development of the term. The chapter identifies three key ways in which the term ‘discourse’ has been used in linguistics: to refer to authentic language data beyond the level of the sentence; to refer to language as social action, that is, language use in social life; and to refer to processes of socio-cultural representation, shaped by ideologies, which maintain social structures and power relationships. Examples of research from each of these perspectives are discussed. The chapter goes on to reflect on the connections between linguistic ethnography and discourse analysis, including the potential benefits for discourse analysis of adopting an ethnographic approach. The value of contemporary recording technologies for current and future discourse research is highlighted, along with the importance of accompanying such recordings with ethnographic data.