Postmodernism, Conversation Analysis, Ethnomethodology, Mundane
Reasoning, Membership Categorization, Sequential Analysis
Discourse analysis is an important
theme in postmodernism especially for writers like Michel
Foucault for whom it is important to analyze how people talk about the world around them.
The central idea is that the way
people talk about the world does not reflect some objective truth about that world, but
instead reflects the success of particular ways of thinking and seeing.
These ways of thinking and seeing
tend to become invisible, because they are simply assumed to be truthful and right, and in
this way people's thought processes themselves can come to represent and reinforce
particular regimes of power and coercion.
Discourse Analysis Means
Analysing Discourse: Some Comments On Antaki, Billig, Edwards And Potter 'Discourse
Analysis Means Doing Analysis: A Critique Of Six Analytic Shortcomings' - Erica
Burman - Discourse Unit/Women's Studies Research Centre, Department of Psychology and
Speech Pathology, Manchester Metropolitan University
Abstract: In this paper I discuss the 'six analytic shortcomings' of discourse analytic
work identified by Antaki et al. as concerned with contextual and part-whole relations.
I then move on to offer three more
addressing questions of location: under-analysis through uncontested readings,
under-analysis through decontextualisation and underanalysis through not having a
question. I suggest that, while Antaki et al. have usefully highlighted some prevalent
limitations on current, especially introductory, work put forward as discourse analysis,
their analysis benefits from some further elaboration in order to acknowledge and refer to
the wider spectrum of discursive approaches.
Discourse Analysis Means
Doing Analysis: A Critique Of Six Analytic Shortcomings
Charles Antaki, Michael Billig, Derek Edwards, Jonathan Potter - Discourse and
Abstract: A number of ways of treating talk and textual data are identified which fall
short of discourse analysis. They are: (1) under-analysis through summary; (2)
under-analysis through taking sides; (3) under-analysis through over-quotation or through
isolated quotation; (4) the circular identification of discourses and mental constructs;
(5) false survey; and (6) analysis that consists in simply spotting features. We show, by
applying each of these to an extract from a recorded interview, that none of them actually
analyse the data. We hope that illustrating shortcomings in this way will encourage
further development of rigorous discourse analysis in social psychology.
and the Knowledge-Based Economy in Europe by Bob Jessop, Norman Fairclough, and Ruth Wodak - The papers in this
collection apply a range of approaches to discourse analysis, as well as narrative policy
analysis, and several contributors use a cultural political economy perspective which
incorporates a version of critical discourse analysis.
Context is/as Critique -
Jan Blommaert, Ghent University, Belgium
In this article the treatment of context in two schools of contemporary discourse
analysis, Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Conversation Analysis (CA), is discussed.
Starting from the observation that critical trends in discourse analysis identify the
intersection of language and social structure as the locus of critique, I first qualify
the treatment of context in some Critical Discourse Analysis work as largely backgrounding
and narrative. Contextual information that invites critical scrutiny is often accepted as
'mere facts', framing the discourse samples analyzed in Critical Discourse Analysis. On
the other hand, context is reduced to a minimal set of observable and demonstrably
consequential features of single conversations in Conversation Analysis, and 'translocal'
phenomena are hard to incorporate in Conversation Analysis. Both treatments of context
have severe defects, and in the second part of the article I offer three sets of
'forgotten contexts': contexts that are usually overlooked in critical discourse studies
but that offer considerable critical potential because they situate discourse deeply in
social structure and social processes.
Action-Implicative Discourse Analysis - Karen Tracy, University of
Action-implicative discourse analysis is the name for a new type of discourse analysis,
developed to be useful in the critique and cultivation of communicative practices in
society. Action-implicative discourse analysis seeks to characterize the communicative
problems, conversational techniques, and situated ideals of communicative practices. By
comparing and contrasting action-implicative discourse analysis with four markedly
different discourse analytic approaches - conversation analysis, interactional
sociolinguistics, critical discourse analysis, and discursive psychology - the article
seeks to make the methodological approach's distinctive character visible. The article's
final section explicates criteria that could be used in assessing interpretive discourse
approaches generally, and action-implicative discourse analysis in particular.
Defining and Defending Unhealthy Practices
A Discourse Analysis of Chocolate 'Addicts' Accounts
Rebecca Benford, Brendan Gough
Ideals of health and nutrition conspire to render the consumption of chocolate and similar
snacks problematic. Individuals who self-define as chocoholics present an
opportunity to investigate how unhealthy acts are defined and defended in a
health-conscious climate. Reports on an interview-based study with five self-professed
chocoholics. A Foucauldian form of discourse analysis was applied to the interview
transcripts and four main discourses identified: chocolate as dirty and dangerous;
chocolate as pleasure; self-surveillance; and addiction. Function of such discourses in
terms of upholding the moral status of these individuals is discussed.
Discourses in the European Commissions 19962000 Health Promotion
Catherine Marie Sykes, Carla Willig, David F. Marks, Department of Psychology, City
This article is a discourse analysis of The Community Action Programme on Health
Promotion, Information, Education and Training 19962000. The analysis uses six
stages to discourse analysis. A religious discourse is used to construct the Programme and
a military discourse is used to construct its implementation. These discourses are
embedded in a scientific discourse. Analysis reveals that despite rhetorical endorsement
of the concept of empowerment, this Programme disempowers through vagueness, clear
hierarchies of power and an emphasis on scientific methods of evaluation. The analysis
also reveals that there is a shift in blame in recent health promotion policy, the
reflection is now on the collective as opposed to individual behaviour.
Discourse and Text: Linguistic and Intertextual Analysis within Discourse Analysis
Norman Fairclough, LANCASTER UNIVERSITY
This paper is an argument for systematic textual analysis as a part of discourse analysis,
and an attempt to stimulate debate on this issue between different approaches to discourse
analysis. Two types of textual analysis are distinguished: linguistic analysis and
intertextual analysis. On the basis of a reanalysis of data samples in papers published in
the first four issues of Discourse & Society, the paper argues that diverse approaches
to discourse analysis can be enhanced through systematic use of these two forms of
analysis, even those which claim a concern with the content rather than the form of texts.
Critical Discourse Analysis and the Marketization of Public Discourse: The
Universities - Norman Fairclough, Univ Lancaster
This paper sets out the author's view of discourse analysis and illustrates the approach
with an analysis of discursive aspects of marketization of public discourse in
contemporary Britain, specifically in higher education. It includes a condensed
theoretical account of critical discourse analysis, a framework for analysing discursive
events, and a discussion of discursive practices (including their marketization) in late
capitalist society, as well as analysis of samples of the discourse of higher education.
The paper concludes with a discussion of the value of critical discourse analysis as a
method in social scientific research.
Cultural Studies, Critical
Theory and Critical Discourse Analysis: Histories, Remembering and Futures -
Abstract: In this paper I have explored some of the histories which inevitably connect,
but also differentiate, critical discourse analysis and cultural studies. I have argued
that both are strongly influenced by the versions of critical theory which have been
characterised as postmodernism
and poststructuralism and
that both could benefit not only from some serious engagement with the several disciplines
from which their interdisciplinarity is derived. I have also argued that the claims
sometimes made for critical discourse analysis are inflated. On the other hand
resignification or the cultural politics of critical discourse analysis are
important agendas and we need to do much more work on establishing exactly how social
change can be effected through the kinds of work critical discourse analysis could do. My
conclusion is that we need to reframe and recontextualise the ways in which we define and
perform critical discourse analysis and that that will involve bringing cultural studies
and critical discourse analysis together in productive new ways with other disciplinary
and theoretical formations.
The implication of visual research for discourse analysis: transcription beyond
language - Sigrid Norris, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
This article identifies some limitations of discourse analysis by analyzing interactions
between five boys in which the TV and the computer are featured as mediational means. The
incorporation of several modalities into transcripts and a shift in focus from primarily
language to human action facilitate a better understanding of the multi-modal interaction
involved. The use of conventional transcripts with a focus on language demonstrates that
movie-mediated interactions and computer-mediated interactions appear fragmented; by
contrast, an inclusion of images into the transcripts, representing central interactions
and/or images of a movie or computer screen, demonstrates the significant visual modes
that are imperative to the ongoing talk. Just as written words correspond to the oral
language, images can exemplify the global interaction among the participants, or they can
represent the images on the screen. In addition, viewing an image is much faster than
reading a description, so that these images also display the fast pace of the
movie-mediated interaction and/or computer-mediated interaction.
Discourse Analysis and Social Relationships in Social Work - JOHN J.
Summary: Following a description of the criticism made of contract approaches from the
perspective of discourse analysis, the paper draws a distinction between the focus of
discourse analysis on the constitution of knowledges and the ethnomethodological project
of studying how knowledgeable human beings negotiate meaning through social interaction. I
argue that we need a discourse analysis grounded in social relationships.
Immigrants - A Historical Discourse Analysis of the Representations of Immigrants in
US Social Work, 1882-1952 - Yoosun Park, Smith College School for Social
Summary: This study analyzes the representations of immigrants found in three US social
work periodicals published between 1882 and 1952. Beginning from Foucaults notion of
the history of the present, an approach to history which examines the past in
order to illuminate a present-day problematic, and using textual analysis techniques
provided by Jacques Derrida, this work of historical discourse analysis traces the
discursive constructions of identity through which immigrants were problematized as
particular kinds of subjects in social work discourse.
Essays: a Discourse Analysis Perspective
Siew-Mei Wu, Adult Migrant Education Service Melbourne Australia
This paper presents a case study of the use of a narrative discourse model (Labov and
Waletzky 1967) to provide a more objective assessment of two ESL compositions. The model
allows a clause by clause analysis to demonstrate the discourse function of each clause
within the narratives. A comparative analysis which describes the overall narrative
structures of the two stories is also presented. The evaluation of the narrative quality
of the essays using the model as a guide seems to be consistent with the impressionistic
marks awarded by the ESL teacher. Research has shown that the quality of a text is
enhanced by grammatical patterns within the sentence as well as patterns of discourse
organisation beyond the sentence. Thus, insights from discourse analysis research can
provide the writing teacher with ideas for a more discourse oriented approach in the
Discourse Analysis in
General Practice: A Sociolinguistic Approach
Nessa J and Malterud K. - Family Practice 1990; 7: 7783.
It is a simple but important fact that as general practitioners we talk to our patients.
The quality of the conversation is of vital importance for the outcome of the
consultation. The purpose of this article is to discuss a methodological tool borrowed
from sociolinguistics, discourse analysis. To assess the suitability of this method for
analysis of general practice consultations, the authors have performed a discourse
analysis of one single consultation.
Reflexivity and Critique
in Discourse Analysis
Mary Bucholtz, Texas A&M University
Within linguistic anthropology, the anthropological concern with reflexivity and critique emerges most explicitly in
debates over discourse analysis. Through critical discussion of the contributions to this
two-part special issue, several dominant approaches to discourse - including critical
discourse analysis, conversation analysis,
interactional sociolinguistics, and natural histories of discourse - are assessed for
their ability to yield insights into culture and power. It is suggested that an
ethnographically grounded discourse analysis can be critically effective not only within
linguistic anthropology but within anthropology more generally.
Teaching with an
attitude: Critical Discourse Analysis in EFL teaching
Josep M. Cots
Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) sees discourse as a form of social practice,
in which language use is seen at the same time as socially influenced and influential.
Another characteristic of critical discourse analysis is that it is engaged and committed;
it intervenes in social practice and attempts to reveal connections between language use,
power, and ideology. The critical approach to language study is consistent with a view of
education which prioritizes the development of the learners' capacities to examine and
judge the world carefully. These views of language and education respectively are all too
often absent from foreign language programmes. The main principles and notions of critical
discourse analysis are introduced in this article.
Discourse analysis and literary interpretation: a reply to H. Sopher -
The present article refers to a contribution to ELT Journal Vol. 35.3 (pp. 32833) by
H. Sopher, entitled Discourse analysis as an aid to literary interpretation.
The present author, while agreeing with Sopher's interpretation of the story analysed,
argues that such an interpretation is more clearly supported by a surface structure
analysis. The present author demonstrates that a macro-structure analysis was not shown to
be as objective as Sopher claimed.
Organizational Discourse Analysis: Avoiding the Determinism Voluntarism
Charles Conrad, Texas A&M University, USA
Drawing on Alvesson and Karremans (2000) analysis of the methodological problems
facing organizational discourse analysis, this commentary examines the four primary essays
in this special issue in terms of their ability to deal adequately with micro-discourse,
mesodiscourse, grand discourse, and mega-discourse.
Justification, Legitimization and Naturalization of Mergers and Acquisitions: A
Critical Discourse Analysis of Media Texts
Eero Vaara, Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration, Finland
Janne Tienari, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland
This article concentrates on the discursive construction of mergers and acquisitions in
the media. Drawing on critical discourse analysis, the article focuses on justification,
legitimization and naturalization processes in three historically significant cases in the
Finnish media. The analysis reveals four distinctive discourse types - 'rationalistic',
'cultural', 'societal' and 'individualistic' - and elaborates their structural
characteristics. The analysis shows that rationalistic discourses typically dominate
discussion, while the other discourses are subordinated to the rationalistic discursive
practices. This usually means justification of particular merger or acquisition deals and
legitimization of specific actions taken by management.
Multimodality, resemiotization: extending the analysis of discourse as
multi-semiotic practice - Rick A M Iedema, University of New South
This article has the following two overarching aims. First, it traces the development of
multimodal discourse analysis and sets out its main descriptive and analytical parameters;
in doing so, the article highlights the specific advantages which the multimodal approach
has to offer and exemplifies its application. The article also argues that the
hierarchical arrangement of different semiotics (in the way common sense construes this)
should not be lost from sight. Second, and related to this last point, the article will
advance a complementary perspective to that of multimodality: resemiotization.
Europe as a Discursive Battleground - Discourse Analysis and European
Integration Studies - THOMAS DIEZ
Problems of European integration and governance are increasingly analysed from a
discursive perspective. Two analytical strands, the Copenhagen and the Governance School,
are discussed in depth, both of which in their own ways look at the possibility of
legitimately articulating a particular conception of Europe (and governance). Out of this
discussion, and taking on board the ideas of German 'radical constructivists' as well as
discourse analysts Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, the article develops the analytical
concept of 'discursive nodal points'. This concept helps in addressing the problems of the
status of European policy in relation to discourse, the national focus in many discourse
analyses, and the limitations of conceptualizing change.
Peripheral Vision - Discourse Analysis in Organization Studies: The Case for
Critical Realism - Norman Fairclough, Lancaster
Although studies of organization certainly need to include analysis of discourse, one
prominent tendency within current research on organizational discourse limits its value
for organizational studies through a commitment to postmodernism and extreme versions of
social constructivism. I argue that a version of critical discourse analysis based on a
critical realist social ontology is potentially of greater value to organization studies,
and I refer in particular to the contribution it can make to research on organizational
Incomplete Determinism: A Discourse Analysis of Cybernetic Futurology in Early
Cyberculture - Sheryl N. Hamilton
Using Foucauldian discourse analysis, this paper examines five temporal regularities
produced in emergent cyberculture discourse in the immediate post-WWII period in the
United States. The construction of entropy as social; the understanding of systemic change
in evolutionary terms; the embrace of the present as a revolutionary historical
discontinuity; the adoption of a machine standard of condensed time; and the shaping of
memory as a notion of performative efficiency, work to shape a particular vision of time
and the future. The cybernetic futurology which emerges has continued power/knowledge
effects within the discursive formation of cyberculture.
and the Knowledge-Based Economy in Europe by Bob Jessop, Norman Fairclough, and Ruth Wodak - This book addresses the recent
impact of the knowledge-based economy as an economic imaginary and
as a set of real economic developments on education, and especially higher education in
Europe, including educational strategies and policies such as those of the Bologna process
on a European scale. The contributors come from various disciplinary backgrounds
(education, history, linguistics, sociology) but share a commitment to trans-disciplinary
research and a view that changes in educational policy and practice can productively be
researched with a focus on discourse. The papers in this collection apply a range of
approaches to discourse analysis, as well as narrative policy analysis, and several
contributors use a cultural political economy perspective which incorporates a version of
critical discourse analysis.
Discourse Analysis Means Analysing Discourse.