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Type: Journal article
Title: Discourse analysis in psychology: what's in a name?
Author: Augoustinos, M.
Citation: Qualitative Research in Psychology, 2013; 10(3):244-248
Publisher: Routledge
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 1478-0887
Statement of
Martha Augoustinos
Abstract: Ian Parker (2013/this issue) organises the diverse range of approaches to discourse analysis (DA) in psychology into eight different types at four levels of analysis ranging from the micro to the macro level. In doing so, he has provided us with an important intellectual resource to help organise and structure what at first sight appears to be a smorgasbord of choices that have proliferated in discursive research in recent years. This is in contrast to the intellectual climate of the late 1980s and early 1990s when the “turn to discourse” and critical psychology more generally was just beginning to take off. Back then the choices were few, but there was a clear identifiable critical movement that brought together feminist, social constructionist, poststructuralist, and qualitative research that challenged the hegemony of traditional mainstream positivist psychology. As Parker argues, this critical movement for a “politically progressive psychology” was often synonymous with discourse analysis itself, but it was not long before this movement became increasingly differentiated by debates over method, the value of empiricism, realism versus relativism, participants’ own orientations versus analysts categories, and so on. This differentiation and proliferation of approaches to discourse analysis reflects the collective success of this movement, spawning a range of critical approaches that are all concerned in some way with doing psychology differently. At the same time, however, there are real risks in categorising discursive work along increasing levels of differentiation or types of analysis as in Parker’s representation. I will organise my arguments around three major problems: 1. articulating boundaries in approaches to discourse analysis, 2. establishing hierarchies of criticality, and 3. the increasing fragmentation and marginalisation of discursive research in psychology. I will restrict my comments primarily to approaches with which I am most familiar and that define my own work in this field.
Rights: Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
DOI: 10.1080/14780887.2012.741511
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Psychology publications

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