Discourse Theory and Analysis
The following workshop will be held by Professor Mottier on Week 2 (24 - 28 August, 2020).
Workshop contents and objectives
The aim of this workshop is to explore the practical application of discourse theory to the analysis of textual data. There are many different versions of discourse analysis; this course focuses specifically on types of discourse analysis which are part of the wider family of interpretative methodologies. Interpretative methodologies are grounded in a social constructionist perspective on social life, reminding social scientists of the constructed nature of the social 'facts' that are studied. Against this backdrop, discourse analysis helps researchers to explore: constructions of meanings and identities through which individuals, groups, or organisations make sense of their everyday lives and interactions, and construct their social, organisational and political environments; meanings produced within policy-making or legal processes; mechanisms of social exclusion or inclusion within media debates or internet blogs, etc.
More precisely, the workshop will (1) examine key interpretative methodologies such as interactionism, ethnomethodology and hermeneutics, and examine how these perspectives translate into concrete research questions and frameworks for 'doing' discourse analysis and (2) explore the application of practical techniques of discourse analysis, focusing especially on textual materials (which can include media or internet materials, archival texts, personal diaries, policy and legal texts, organisational and management documents, activist discourses, scientific discourses, or interview transcripts).
Although the lectures, exercises and readings will also address wider methodological issues such as validity and reliability, the main emphasis of the workshop is on practical applications of discourse theory and analysis through daily exercises. Participants are welcome to bring their own data to the Summer School if they wish to do so, and will have a chance to discuss and work on their own research during the week.
No particular prerequisites are needed for this course, but you will be sent several preparatory texts to read a month before the summer school starts.
- Denzin, N. & Y. Lincoln (Eds.)(2011 ) Handbook of Qualitative Research. 4th. editionLondon: Sage
- Taylor, S. (2013). What is Discourse Analysis? London: Bloomsbury.