In short: define what topic you will analyse, and note down which various discourse strands you think might be important in that regards. Analyzing Political Discourse – Theory and Practice. Discourse Analysis does not provide a tangible answer to problems based on scientific research, but it enables access to the ontological and epistemological assumptions behind a project, a statement, a method of research, or - to provide an example from the field of Library and Information Science - a system of classification. If that’s not what you are after (as in: if you are more interested in the visual discourse than in what is being said, linguistically), you could always try a visual communication analysis. Discourse Analysis: An Introduction. Without such a concrete agenda, you may still enjoy analysing the text that sparked your interest, but your hard work may not be able to carry a larger project, like a graduate or even post-graduate thesis. For building a complete picture of discourse, a line-by-line approach can be adopted, but it’s also useful to use ‘codes’ or ‘themes’ to tag every use of some terms, or just significant ones. 5)      Will you need to work qualitatively or quantitatively, or maybe both? If you are more interested in simply exploring what the content of your documents is, or if you hope the documents will give you access to other issues like school class dynamics and curriculum choices, then you can of course still use many of the analytic methods from discourse analysis, but I doubt you would need to explore the linguistic details of the texts. Glad to hear that, Isabel. The latter method seems to be particularly big at Scandinavian universities (in the academic field “history of ideas”). A Foucauldian notion of discourse (1) holds that: discourse is a culturally constructed representation of reality, not an exact copy discourse constructs knowledge and thus governs, through the production of categories of knowledge and assemblages of texts, what it is possible to talk about and what is not (the taken for granted rules of inclusion/exclusion). Gee refers to tools of inquiry as thinking devices. On the other hand, if you are not interested in these discursive mechanisms, then you could simply use similar materials to map out how the collaboration works and what its effects are. It can also be interesting to look at non-verbal communication: people’s facial expressions and hand movements are an important part of the context of what people say. Really helpful when you are snowed under with a pile of DA books. You should of course still go through the materials systematically, and the kind of coding procedures popular in discourse analysis would also help there, but you wouldn’t need to examine language strategies. You can transcribe such sources and turn them into written data, and can even add special markers to show intonations and emphases. For example, if you are trying to look at a specific theme across various speeches, then you’ll probably not be interested in the detailed verbal idiosyncrasies of the spoken word; you’ll be more interested in getting your hands on a lot of materials and then checking who says what in which context, and maybe also: who uses which words or phrases when talking about the topic. I would say that both of the levels that you describe are ‘discursive practices’, so the production process that leads to the cultural product as well as the reception of that product and any subsequent discussions it incites. It’s a very nice little tool to visualize word distribution, and it works with Asian languages as well. Do you perhaps have a suggestion? In other words, you will likely be exploring qualitative aspects of the discourse. hi Florian! We promise people things, we open committee meetings, we propose to our lovers, we argue over politics, and we “talk to God”…, Language allows us to be things. Chilton (2004: 206) has provided a very useful list of such annotations. This is important as DP determines the type(s) of questions that discourse analysis can be used to address. That would be more of a political economy or anthropology approach. In other words: the social context and the question of how power works through the construction of knowledge are central to discourse analysis, whereas I suspect that most scholars of ‘Begriffsgeschichte’ would focus more strongly on text-immanent meanings and their evolution rather than on such socio-linguistic concerns. It’s definitely possible to use discourse analysis to analyse spoken words in TV, film, or radio shows, but you are right: you would need to transcribe a lot of what is being said. This is a very good question. Hi Dan, I realize you’re not going to be able to follow up on a lot of the reading tips I’ve provided there, but you may want to see if you can get your hands on the following volume – it contains quite a bit of useful advice on how to analyze different types of materials (check out the amazon overview to see if this is at all helpful to you): Ruth Wodak’s edited book ‘Qualitative Discourse Analysis in the Social Sciences‘. Does this make sense? These notes can then become your first coding categories: the analytical attributes you assign to different units of text, such as paragraphs, sentences, or even words, to later explore their distribution across the text, and their relation to one another. Qualitative researchers often try to understand the world by listening to how people talk, but it can be really revealing to look at not just what people say, but how. So for example: if the movie depicts specific gender roles, then it is drawing from practices in the social realm as its ‘resource’ for discursive construction, and this construction may then affects such practices down the road. Thank you Dan, that means a lot. All of these are legitimate concerns that could stand at the beginning of a detailed discourse analysis. phrases like “uhm”, “oh”) and mark all phonetic aspects (pauses in the speech, intonation, and so on) will hinge on the level of detail you plan to go into. For a case like this, you could create protocols of your materials first, outlining only which topics are mentioned in what time interval. 2. ,   methodology There might be nuances in his work I’m now overlooking. I could imagine a discourse analysis for the kind of project you have in mind, but it’s not a prerequisite, I would say. Schöne Grüße aus London, Hi Carolin, That depends on your project, but in principle: yes. In news, certain things are ‘acceptable’ discourse, and other things are not. This can lead even experienced academics to cut corners. When it comes to analysing the data I’m not sure how to categorise the data. Download a free trial, or read more about it here. This is a classic type of discourse we are familiar with from medical TV dramas, the ‘good bed-side manner’. In both laboratory and field experiments and survey research, the data for this research are largely discursive: question-naires, experimental responses, think-aloud and recall protocols, stories or argumentation and accounts, among many others.     • Empirical (social practice constructed through text) It includes both written, verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as the wider social concepts that underpin what language means, and how it changes. If you are looking for something more analytical, I usually use NVivo, but that’s not a free programme. Do you think a discourse analysis is the right way to look at it? Another important issue is whether your source material is already available digitally, or if you can somehow digitize your texts. I’m designing a critical discourse analysis of mental disabilities in one Hollywood movie. If you haven’t checked it out yet, see my post on discourse theory for a discussion: 257 – 285 August 2015 Critical Discourse Analysis as a Review Methodology: An Empirical Example Jeffrey D. Wall School of Business and Economics, Michigan Technological University, USA Bernd Carsten Stahl Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, De One cloud represents the most common words in the Chinese government’s white paper on the relevance of the internet. Like with any type of research, a good discourse analysis starts with the right question. Exact intonation will probably not be of interest to you in such a case. I am looking for links between existing framing typologies in climate change and rights-based discourse. How can we start examining complex qualitative data from many voices from a point of view of discourse? Here’s the link: How to Do a Discourse Analysis. The discourse analyst Siegfried Jäger (2004: 160-168) calls such general themes discourse strands. 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