Discourse Essay

698 WordsMay 8, 20133 Pages
Discourse Analysis Discourse Analysis is a term used to describe a range of research approaches that focus on the use of language. There are many different types of discourse analysis such as conversation analysis, discursive psychology, critical discourse analysis and Foucauldian discourse analysis. Each of these has its own assumptions, emphasis and methods but the key overlapping interest is in the way meaning is constructed in communication. Discourse analysis has been used to understand a wide range of texts including natural speech, professional documentation, political rhetoric, interview or focus group material, internet communication, journals and broadcast media. A discourse is a set of meanings through which a group of people communicate about a particular topic. Discourse can be defined in a narrow or a broad sense and a narrow definition of discourse might refer only to spoken or written language. However, discourse analysis more often draws on a broader definition to include the shared ways in which people make sense of things within a given culture or context, including both language and language-based practices (i.e. the ways in which things are accomplished). Discourse analysis has been used to understand a wide range of texts including natural speech, professional documentation, political rhetoric, interview or focus group material, internet communication, newspapers and magazines and broadcast media. Most forms of discourse analysis assume that discourse does not just describe an external reality, but rather that it is constructive of the world as we experience it. For example, if the main way in which we discuss dependant drinking relates to ‘the disease of alcoholism’, we are participating in the construction through language of a world in which ‘alcoholics’ deserve medical support and sympathy and are treated by doctors in buildings called

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