DISCOURSE ANALYSIS1

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Discourse analysis : 

Discourse analysis Considerations: outline the theoretical background to discourse analysis. consider the different forms of discourse analysis in psychology today. introduce two forms in detail: discursive psychology and Foucauldian discourse analysis. examine the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches.

Introduction : 

Introduction A paradigm shift? Discourse: spoken and written communication and more. Social constructionist. Different approaches: Discursive psychology. Foucauldian discourse analysis.

The turn to language : 

The turn to language Harré & Gillet (1994) - a new paradigm. Rejection of cognitive approach: Objects existing independently of thought. Language: Does things (action-oriented). Creates objects themselves (constitutes subjectivity). Fox hunting - what is hunting?

Theoretical divergences : 

Theoretical divergences Discursive psychology: Wittgenstein. Austin - speech act theory. Focus on discourse practices. Foucauldian discourse analysis: Foucault. Discursive resources.

Discursive psychology : 

Discursive psychology Potter & Wetherell (1987) Discourse and Social Psychology. Direct challenge to dominant cognitive model in social psychology. Radical alternative drawing on philosophy of Wittgenstein and Austin. A paradigm shift? Dominant approach to DA in U.K. today.

Wittgenstein : 

Wittgenstein Language as a toolkit: Rather than language in terms of reference and internal logic. Language games: Implicit rules. DP notion of interpretative repertoire. Private language argument: Private language not possible - language always a public social event.

Austin - speech act theory : 

Austin - speech act theory Performative: utterances that do things. Keep off the grass. Constative: utterances that state things. The grass is green. All sentences consist of both. I love you. Action-oriented nature of language.

Doing discursive psychology : 

Doing discursive psychology Ten stages (Potter & Wetherell, 1987): research questions sample selection collection of records and documents interviews transcription coding analysis validation the report application

Asking appropriate questions : 

Asking appropriate questions Very different to orthodox psychology. Concern with way language is used (not what lies beyond language). Focus on talk itself! How is it constructed and what function does it have? Role of blaming in marital discord. Construction of a racist discourse. Medical repertoires about patients.

Collecting data : 

Collecting data Naturally occurring discourse preferred. Absence of researcher. In practice interviews often necessary. Intervene more. More confrontational. Natural conversation. Analysis of interviewer and interviewee.

Analysis : 

Analysis Detailed transcription: Jefferson system. Coding: Selection criteria. Inclusive. May re-code later. Search for differences (content or form) and shared features. (cont . . .)

Slide 12: 

Concern for function and effect. How does the text construct the object or event of interest? What interpretative repertoires are invoked? Fox hunting: base animal instincts versus maintenance of tradition. Hypotheses about functions/effects and search for linguistic evidence. Analysis (continued)

Writing it up : 

Writing it up Usual qualitative report format. Validity check (Potter & Wetherell, 1987): persuasiveness coherence consequences fruitfulness

Foucauldian discourse analysis : 

Foucauldian discourse analysis Discourse: ‘...group of statements which provide a language for talking about…a particular topic at a particular historical moment…Discourse is about the production of knowledge through language...’ (Hall, 1992: 291). All meaning is constructed through discourse (social constructionism) - not denying a material reality outside discourse but nothing can have meaning outside discourse. (cont . . .)

Slide 15: 

Construction of the subject. e.g. ‘the homosexual’. Positioning. As sick, criminal. Discourses allowing and limiting ways of being. Discourse and power. Knowledge used to regulate conduct. Foucauldian discourse analysis (continued)

Doing Foucauldian discourse analysis : 

Doing Foucauldian discourse analysis Focus on discourses, construction of subjectivity, subject positions, power and politics. Anything can be discourse. More macro-level than DP. Less focus on micro-level interactional issues. Identify and describe discourses and explore the way they position people.

Parker (1992) - 20 steps : 

Parker (1992) - 20 steps Abridged: explore connotations specify types of person talked about map picture of world described by discourse examine contrasting ways of speaking examine discursive terms being employed identify institutions reinforced by discourse look for categories of person gaining or losing look at who would want to promote discourse look for links to other discourses

Strengths, limitations and debates : 

Strengths, limitations and debates Sophisticated understanding of language. Critical move away from cognition. Lack of ‘a person’ (agent): Implicit but not explicit. Passive notion of subjectivity. Questions about the extra-discursive. Idealism, realism and critical realism.

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