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Analytic process: 4 stages ‘Giving a voice’ ‘Giving a voice’ Stage 1: applies specifically to interview data, retell story with eye to empathy & empowerment.

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Presentation on theme: "Analytic process: 4 stages ‘Giving a voice’ ‘Giving a voice’ Stage 1: applies specifically to interview data, retell story with eye to empathy & empowerment."— Presentation transcript:

1 Analytic process: 4 stages ‘Giving a voice’ ‘Giving a voice’ Stage 1: applies specifically to interview data, retell story with eye to empathy & empowerment. Generation of categories Generation of categories Thematic analyses Thematic analyses Discourse analysis Discourse analysis

2 Stage 4: Discourse Analysis Discourses = sets of statements which construct an object (any category of thing or person that is spoken about by an interviewee) Variability; construction; function - how language changes, how it works, how it is put together.

3 Definition (Ruth Wodak ) Definition (Ruth Wodak ) (Greek v) Ana-lyein ‘deconstruct’ (Latin v) Discurrere ‘running back & forth’ DA penetrated many disciplines, distinct meanings in each of these: from a social science methodology to the label for a whole field, a subdiscipline of linguistics, a critical paradigm… A particular uptake of the ideas within psychology, mostly DP in social psychology.

4 Discursive Psychology The set of social constructionist approaches within social psychology mainly (Potter, Wetherall, Billig) share views on language and subjectivity share views on language and subjectivity also the very important aim of ‘carrying out critical research also the very important aim of ‘carrying out critical research ‘to investigate and analyse power relations in society and to formulate normative practices from which a critique of such social relations can be made with an eye on the possibilities for social change’ (Philips & Jorgensen).

5 No single definition of DA as a research method - can be characterized as a way of approaching and thinking about a problem. No single definition of DA as a research method - can be characterized as a way of approaching and thinking about a problem. a manner of questioning the basic assumptions of research methods, enables access to the ontological and epistemological assumptions behind a project, a statement, a method of research. a manner of questioning the basic assumptions of research methods, enables access to the ontological and epistemological assumptions behind a project, a statement, a method of research. Every text is conditioned and inscribes itself within a given discourse, thus the term Discourse Analysis. Every text is conditioned and inscribes itself within a given discourse, thus the term Discourse Analysis. Will not provide absolute answers to a specific problem, but enable us to understand the conditions behind a specific "problem" and make us realize that the essence of that "problem", and its resolution, lie in its assumptions; the very assumptions that enable the existence of that "problem". Will not provide absolute answers to a specific problem, but enable us to understand the conditions behind a specific "problem" and make us realize that the essence of that "problem", and its resolution, lie in its assumptions; the very assumptions that enable the existence of that "problem".

6 No longer a marginal perspective, for an increasing number of academics discourse analysis is the main way of doing social psychological research (LSE, Cambridge, Loughborough). No longer a marginal perspective, for an increasing number of academics discourse analysis is the main way of doing social psychological research (LSE, Cambridge, Loughborough). Also a proliferation of forms of discourse analysis - from CA to post-structural and Foucauldian thinking. Also a proliferation of forms of discourse analysis - from CA to post-structural and Foucauldian thinking.

7 1 st focus – language & what it does on the world 1 st focus – language & what it does on the world Then divides into various traditions Analyst must go beyond the data itself – interpret by appeal to a theory (about society, power, culture…) Analyst must go beyond the data itself – interpret by appeal to a theory (about society, power, culture…) How does speaker’s choice of words ‘construct’ a social object? How does speaker’s choice of words ‘construct’ a social object?

8 2 basic DA principles 1. One of language’s functions is to do things at the societal level (above interpersonal) It is constitutive (e.g., the law) It promotes someone’s or some group’s interests.

9 2. People use discourse practices to do these things. To investigate a social phenomenon, find identifiable set of things that go together… particular words, phrases, terms of reference, metaphors, rhetorical styles … which together construct the social object, e.g., ‘science’ ‘homosexuality’, ‘muslim’. Constructed by discourse’s choice of description & associations it explicity makes Muslim vs Islamic; fundamentalist vs devout; …

10 Method: some examples Linguistic features: choice of grammatical form is a discursive practice (Kress) Linguistic features: choice of grammatical form is a discursive practice (Kress) Identification of repetoires: a more or less coherent way of describing something – scientists empiricism & contingency (Gilbert & Mulkay 1990) Identification of repetoires: a more or less coherent way of describing something – scientists empiricism & contingency (Gilbert & Mulkay 1990) Sensitivity to context (Potter & Wetherell) - see what things people say mean in context, contradictions etc. Sensitivity to context (Potter & Wetherell) - see what things people say mean in context, contradictions etc.

11 Antaki, Billig, Edwards & Potter 2006 Identify things that might superficially give the appearance of conducting discourse analysis but do not in fact do so. Identify things that might superficially give the appearance of conducting discourse analysis but do not in fact do so. Burman - list of ‘mistakes and errors’ actually highlight with particular clarity ideological as well as conceptual and methodological features of the discipline. Burman - list of ‘mistakes and errors’ actually highlight with particular clarity ideological as well as conceptual and methodological features of the discipline.

12 6 non-analyses. 1. Under-analysis through summary 2. Under–analysis through taking sides 3. Under-analysis through over quotation or through isolated quotation. 4. Circular identification of discourses and mental constructs 5. False survey 6. Analysis that consists in simply spotting features.

13 Burman (commenting on Antaki et al. ) Elaborates Elaborates Under-analysis occurs when the analysis substitutes detailed examination of the text for the adoption of a theorized position. Under-analysis occurs when the analysis substitutes detailed examination of the text for the adoption of a theorized position. A way out of circular reasoning would be to elaborate the analysis or categories to relate to structures outside the detail of the text, e.g., via analyses of institutional practices and systemic patternings. A way out of circular reasoning would be to elaborate the analysis or categories to relate to structures outside the detail of the text, e.g., via analyses of institutional practices and systemic patternings. Proper analyses should also include consulting theoretical analyses of a historical and cultural kind that inform how such conversational moves come to be possible and how they function. Proper analyses should also include consulting theoretical analyses of a historical and cultural kind that inform how such conversational moves come to be possible and how they function. Don’t stop at what they say, ask why? Don’t stop at what they say, ask why?

14 3 further points to add to Antaki’s 6: Under-analysis through decontextualisation Under-analysis through decontextualisation Under-analysis through uncontested readings Under-analysis through uncontested readings Under-analysis through not having a question Under-analysis through not having a question

15 DA is a form of action rather than of reflection DA is a form of action rather than of reflection Not only does doing discourse analysis mean doing analysis BUT discourse analysis means analyzing discourse. Must have a theory of discourse (or text or transcript) as well as of analysis to do discourse analysis - and this also includes having an analysis of the technologies of one’s own analysis.

16 van Dijk (1997) van Dijk (1997) An analysis of discourse is a scholarly analysis only when it is based on more or less explicit concerns, methods or theories. Merely making “common sense” comments on a piece of text or talk will seldom suffice in such a case. Indeed, the whole point should be to provide insights into structure, strategies or other properties of discourse that could not readily be given by naïve recipients. (p. 1)

17 Levels of (discourse)analysis? Where to draw the boundaries? Or what should be included? The linguistic, social, political, historical, material, institutional … ? Where to draw the boundaries? Or what should be included? The linguistic, social, political, historical, material, institutional … ? What is discursive and what counts as extra- discursive? (Willig’s paper on critical realism in DA) What is discursive and what counts as extra- discursive? (Willig’s paper on critical realism in DA) What is context? What is context?

18 Step by step Read through the data a number of times until you become familiar with it. What leaps out as you read through the transcript? Think about what is ‘going on’ in the talk; what sort of ‘business’ are the speakers/writers involved in (e.g. blaming, justifying, describing, etc)? Read through the data a number of times until you become familiar with it. What leaps out as you read through the transcript? Think about what is ‘going on’ in the talk; what sort of ‘business’ are the speakers/writers involved in (e.g. blaming, justifying, describing, etc)? Ask yourself ‘why this word, why now?’ (Try mentally replacing words with others to see how the construction changes; such as ‘this young girl’ to ‘this young woman’). Is the narrative structure of the text important? How does the constructed meaning of the talk/text change as the words change? Ask yourself ‘why this word, why now?’ (Try mentally replacing words with others to see how the construction changes; such as ‘this young girl’ to ‘this young woman’). Is the narrative structure of the text important? How does the constructed meaning of the talk/text change as the words change?

19 Look for ‘discursive devices’ such as 3-part lists, extreme case formulations, etc. What are these ‘doing’? What psychological business are they attending to? Look for ‘discursive devices’ such as 3-part lists, extreme case formulations, etc. What are these ‘doing’? What psychological business are they attending to? Start to think about possible themes or research questions that you could use to focus your analysis. These can be very simple, such as ‘how are categories used to manage identity?’ or ‘how are issues of blame and accountability dealt with in the text?’ Start to think about possible themes or research questions that you could use to focus your analysis. These can be very simple, such as ‘how are categories used to manage identity?’ or ‘how are issues of blame and accountability dealt with in the text?’ Note down anything at all that interests you – work on your intuitive hunches - and list your ideas down the margins of the transcript. Note down anything at all that interests you – work on your intuitive hunches - and list your ideas down the margins of the transcript.

20 Once you’ve gone through the transcript in this way, do it again! Then start to make more detailed notes, relating to your theme or research question. Once you’ve gone through the transcript in this way, do it again! Then start to make more detailed notes, relating to your theme or research question. If writing up the analysis, this is where you will need to draw on links to other discursive work on identity to help support your analysis. If writing up the analysis, this is where you will need to draw on links to other discursive work on identity to help support your analysis.

21 Discursive strategiesWhat they may be doing Extreme case formulations Extreme case formulations Using words like ‘very’ or ‘the worst’ strengthen an argument or account. Can also be treated ironically. Using words like ‘very’ or ‘the worst’ strengthen an argument or account. Can also be treated ironically. Emotion categories Emotion categories Not referring to underlying emotional states, but as a resource for holding others accountable, and useful for setting up rhetorical contrasts (e.g. versus ‘rational’). Not referring to underlying emotional states, but as a resource for holding others accountable, and useful for setting up rhetorical contrasts (e.g. versus ‘rational’). ‘Active voicing’ ‘Active voicing’ This is when speakers report the words of others as if they were spoken directly. Used to add authenticity and credibility. This is when speakers report the words of others as if they were spoken directly. Used to add authenticity and credibility. Script formulations Script formulations Formulating an action as routine or usual – does ‘being normal’. Formulating an action as routine or usual – does ‘being normal’.

22 Assessments & second assessments: Assessments & second assessments: These are usually organised in preference terms (i.e. agree with someone as preferable for smooth interaction). These are usually organised in preference terms (i.e. agree with someone as preferable for smooth interaction). Affect displays Affect displays E.g. sighing, crying, sniffing – often these are organised alongside talk; not separate to interaction. E.g. sighing, crying, sniffing – often these are organised alongside talk; not separate to interaction. Pronoun use and footing Pronoun use and footing Using ‘I’, ‘we’, ‘you’, etc. Used to distance or align oneself with others. Using ‘I’, ‘we’, ‘you’, etc. Used to distance or align oneself with others. Detail in narrative/generic vagueness Detail in narrative/generic vagueness Often used to make accounts more plausible. Vagueness can be used as a distancing tool (i.e. ‘this is not my story...’) Often used to make accounts more plausible. Vagueness can be used as a distancing tool (i.e. ‘this is not my story...’) 3-part lists 3-part lists These are common in much talk and esp. in political speeches – adds credibility and authenticity. These are common in much talk and esp. in political speeches – adds credibility and authenticity.

23 Sample ‘analysis’ section of report The following is an example of how you might begin to write up and structure the ‘analysis’ section of a DA report (often call this ‘analysis’ rather than ‘findings’ or ‘results’ because the latter two suggest a more objective, quantitative style stance on the data). The important thing to note is that author should properly contextualize, present and report on the data, and that it should go beyond merely re-describing what someone else has said. Analysis The analysis of the Panorama interview revealed three themes: the construction of a ‘normal’ identity, the negotiation of blame, and the construction of ‘others’. …. The analysis of the Panorama interview revealed three themes: the construction of a ‘normal’ identity, the negotiation of blame, and the construction of ‘others’. ….

24 Constructing a ‘normal’ identity One of the main ways in which identity was constructed within the interview was that of Diana as being an ordinary, ‘normal’ person. In extract 1 below, Diana is talking about her self-harming behaviour during her depression. Extract 1 Bashir:it was suggested that it was around this time things became so difficult that you actually things became so difficult that you actually tried to injure yourself tried to injure yourself Diana:mmm Bashir:is that true Diana:mmm when no one listens to you or you feel no one’s listening to you all sorts of things start to happen for instance you have so start to happen for instance you have so much pain inside yourself that you try and much pain inside yourself that you try and hurt yourself on the outside cos you want hurt yourself on the outside cos you want help but it’s the wrong kind of help you’re help but it’s the wrong kind of help you’re asking for asking for

25 Admitting to self-harming would be problematic for Diana as a member of the royal family. She doesn’t directly answer the question (line 5) but answers using the generic ‘you’; this allows her to maintain a rhetorical distance from what she has said (i.e. it may or may not apply to her) and enables her to identify with the audience. Admitting to self-harming would be problematic for Diana as a member of the royal family. She doesn’t directly answer the question (line 5) but answers using the generic ‘you’; this allows her to maintain a rhetorical distance from what she has said (i.e. it may or may not apply to her) and enables her to identify with the audience. Talking in this way also constructs her as a normal person with normal feelings and emotions. She could be anyone; there is nothing about her role as Princess that might have caused her to self-harm… Talking in this way also constructs her as a normal person with normal feelings and emotions. She could be anyone; there is nothing about her role as Princess that might have caused her to self-harm…

26 Chapter in Willig Chapter in Willig Willig et al. 2007 Theory & Psychology paper for Critical Discourse Analysis Willig et al. 2007 Theory & Psychology paper for Critical Discourse Analysis Wetherell, M. et a. (2001) (Eds.). Discourse Theory & Practice. Sage Wetherell, M. et a. (2001) (Eds.). Discourse Theory & Practice. Sage


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