Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method


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Laclau and Mouffe combined a Marxist theory of the social field, and a structuralist theory of meaning, in their major work, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy Chapter 4 outlines how discursive psychology can be used as a theory and method for research on communications, culture and the social field. Chapter 5 considers, and provides an example, of using multiple CDA approaches.

The final chapter takes the reader through common objections to, and defences of, social constructionism. The discussion is wide-ranging and well-informed, with brief but insightful references to, amongst others, Vygotsky and Saussure on language, Gramsci on Marxism, Bourdieu on field theory and Foucault on power. This book is not a quick read, but is recommended for students wishing to learn, not just about CDA, but about the wider debates and theories of social constructionism.

While there are short sections on methodological questions such as transcription choices, the book is strongest in its careful consideration of theoretical aspects. As such, the book would be more suitable for postgraduate researchers. Jorgensen's text is extremely useful for students who are new to discourse analysis. It is easy to navigate and it provides clear content on the the different types of discourse analysis. The field of discourse analysis is one that make or break the way in which students view this research tool. This book provides clear guidance on how to approach this method and gives clear examples with demonstration of the way in which this subject can be applied to research.

Essential reading for a comparative introduction of three most important research methods in social sciences: comparative method, survey and discourse analysis. PDF file of Chapter 1. PDF file of Chapter 6. Hosting more than 4, titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more. The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.

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By Margaret Adolphus

Download flyer Recommend to Library. Description Contents Reviews Preview Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method is a systematic introduction to discourse analysis as a body of theories and methods for social research. It brings together three central approaches, Laclau and Mouffe's discourse theory, critical discourse analysis and discursive psychology, in order to establish a dialogue between different forms of discourse analysis often kept apart by disciplinary boundaries.

This well-written, opinionated book makes for an unexpectedly entertaining read. Mrs Udeni Salmon. Salford Business School, Salford University. October 9, Such an approach allows the installation of the interpretative approach proper to discourse analysis. The impossibility of addressing the discourse outside of the situation in which it is issued implies the disclosure of the pragmatic aspect of communication and opens the way of establishing a pragmatic perspective on the one hand and an anthropo-sociological perspective on the other.

Pragmatics, attempting, in Ch. On the other hand, the anthropo-sociological perspective can constitute the complementary paradigm necessary to reach the semantic plurality of discourse, by taking into account the interactive and socio-normative contexts. The first stage in the study of discourse, marked by the indissoluble relationship between the signified and the signifier, according to which the perception of the signified is conditioned by the one of the signifier, covers its microstructural level phrastic and transphrastic.

It is brought forward by modern theories aimed at revealing connections at macrostructural level that are necessary to understand discourse as a whole, that is, as a set of discoursive units.

An Introduction to Discourse Analysis: Theory and Method - CRC Press Book

Structuralist theories, claiming to relate exclusively to the linguistic system, are clearly unsatisfactory, as well as the perspective of interaction that ignores the semiotic and symbolic plane. The refusal of discourse analysis, in general, to conceptualise language through its representation function and to promote a communicative action designation for it causes a considerable change in the perspective that establishes the meaning of communication.

Many of the research perspectives that form the field of discourse analysis are grouped in two directions, the Anglo-American one and the French one.


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Baylon [ 9 ] makes a comparative synthesis of research on the discourse in the two directions, of which we mention a few general aspects. First of all, four fundamental paradigms are detected in discourse analysis that can be traced on both axes on which discourse research has evolved: Structural-functional.

The Anglo-American approach focuses almost exclusively on the internal properties of the discourse, namely, consistency, cohesion and pertinence, refusing the wider perspective situated beyond interpersonal connections and the reference to social context. The trends that marked the Anglo-American direction are anthropology and sociology, while the French direction was influenced by psychoanalysis, Marxism and linguistics.

In the Anglo-American discourse research, one can find a direction in which a great part of the theories was written, namely, the study of the structures of the discourse and of the functions they perform in social and cultural contexts.

Then, there is sociolinguistics, oriented to the description of language used inside small social groups, to the study of conversation, argumentation and of other conventional interactions [ 10 , 11 ]. The gender analysis [ 12 ] focuses on describing the structure of the text in context in the discourses of certain communities, on how the text reflects the social aspect of the domain, no matter if it belongs to natural, social or human sciences. Halliday focuses on the structural analysis of the text, while representatives of critical discourse analysis van Dijk appeal to various social theories to analyse the complex relationship between language and ideology in various contexts.

Potter highlights three significant aspects regarding the preoccupations of Anglo-American discourse analysis [ 13 ]: The way in which some conceptions on the world, society, events and inner universes of the individuals involved in the social practices are produced through the discourse. The manners in which participants develop and undermine their constructions in verbal exchanges. The way in which a text is a version that presents an objective reality and develops, in terms of coherence, as a stand-alone reality.

The French orientation privileges language study in the social context, focusing on revealing interdisciplinary, intertextual or sequential relationships. Starting from the premise of the social and interactive dimension of language, a linguistic trend is developed that some theoreticians consider socially relevant and realistic. In this context, the discourse acquired a strong social determinant. Thus, in the view of D.

Discourse analysis

The methodology of discourse analysis in French research relates to language on the one hand and to historical, sociological, psychoanalytic, philosophical and pragmatic considerations on the other, due to the correlation of the statement with its production conditions. From this perspective, the analysis of the discourse is not about what the text says, but about how it says it, along two indissociable orientations, namely, the analysis of the actual discourse assuming the study of the statements made in the corpus and the theory of discourse aiming at establishing rules that organise potential sequences of sentences.

In the view of M. The performance of verbal exchanges in modern society reveals a context that undoubtedly bears the imprint of new means of communication, whose justification is to ensure the adaptation and integration of the individual in society, by mediating interindividual relations [ 15 ]. Through the intrusion of the new forms of media, current communication claims to provide a social binder, partly through the frequency of interpellation and the speed of exchange, partly due to the ability of the environment to privilege the primary dimension of communication.

The presence of sound and image, in combination or not with the text, has become a constant of everyday verbal exchanges. The peculiarities of the environment lead to the proliferation of the forms of communication, depending on the means of representing the meanings and their various possibilities of combining.

Consequently, the production and deciphering of the meaning of communication requires a heterogeneous set of knowledge, likely to capture its complexity. The reality of current verbal exchanges thus reflects the coexistence of the new with the old, in the sense of manifesting two parallel systems of communication—the old resources and the new technologies [ 16 ]. The coexistence of the old with the new in modern communication is marked by the remodelling of some of the traditional resources with the help of the new technologies e. According to this approach, the reconsideration of the discourse and of its means of investigation is a matter of exigency.

In our recent studies on digital discourse, we have proposed a method of research that involves the imbrication of certain elements of discourse analysis with some elements of image production and analysis as well as with elements related to the electronic environment. With regard to the latter, we need to specify that they can be converted into communication evaluation units, either by equating them with discourse analysis elements e. The interest in the virtual discourse began to manifest in the s, when some linguists signalled the effect of electronic communication on language [ 17 ].

Thus, the study of virtual discourse focuses on language and language usage in the electronic environment, involving the application of methods of discourse analysis to interpret it. In the first instance, the preoccupations for virtual discourse turned to a certain discursive genre, materialising in descriptions of virtual communication systems the IBM synchronous message system or the Swedish COM conference system.

Since the s, an exploration has been made of this type of discourse. The first wave of studies, focusing either on empirical descriptions of language in the virtual environment or on the variety of discourse in this environment, appears as a reaction to the existing perception of the virtual discourse.

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It is known that, in general, certain properties have been routinely attributed to virtual communication such as anonymity, impersonalism, egalitarianism, fragmentation or orality, generated by the nature of the channel. These studies have contributed to the development of the research axis by individualising this type of discourse and plotting its boundaries as a discoursive genre. Subsequently, the studies on the discourse revealed the indisputable influence that situational and technical factors exert on communication, generating its variety and complexity.

Moreover, these particularities create a unique, special environment that, far from the competitive influence of other communication channels or the physical context, allows the study of verbal interaction and of the relationship between discourse and social practice. The idea is that the virtual environment considerably marks the communication process in all its aspects, especially the way in which it unfolds.

Both changes in the communication practices regarding the type of interaction and writing, the content of communication and the public exposure by adopting a virtual identity are mentioned as well as the emergence and development of certain social communication channels blog, forums, social networks [ 18 ].

In terms of organisational interactions in the virtual environment, P. The communication highlights its entire pragmatic dimension. Verbal exchanges in the electronic environment are characterised by more rapidity than those specific to the written form of communication e. On the other hand, compared to oral verbal exchanges, in the electronic environment, the verbal exchanges take place at a significantly slower pace, even in situations when the forms of electronic communication unfold in real time.

The discourse in the virtual environment allows the simultaneous participation of several interlocutors, which is difficult if not impossible in other environments due to cognitive limits on the ability of participants to perform more than one exchange at a particular moment [ 17 ].

Dissemination of electronic messages implies a transfer of information that does not occur in a context of coexistence: the transmitter and the receiver are not in the same physical context; the transmitter addresses a receiver he or she does not see and sometimes does not even know.

All these particularities of the discourse, which derive from the specificity of the environment in which it takes place, create the feeling of a distinct experience to the protagonists in relation to what the written or oral communication provides. Face-to-face interaction has a rich informational transfer environment updated in the many channels that go into operation: visual, auditory, gustatory, tactile, etc.

Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method
Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method
Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method
Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method
Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method
Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method
Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method
Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method
Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method

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