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Wed 28 Oct, Wed 11 Nov 2020
10:00 - 11:30


Provided by: Social Sciences Research Methods Programme


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Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis

Wed 28 Oct, Wed 11 Nov 2020


he course offers an introduction to critical approaches to discourse analysis with a focus on linking theory with method. The topic will be approached from a broadly Foucauldian angle, considering discourse: “as groups of signs signifying elements referring to contents of representations, but as practices that systematically form the objects of which they speak.” The emphasis of the two lectures will be less upon what is known as ‘conversation analysis’ or ‘content analysis’ and more on text and speech as social practices that create reality rather than reflect it.

In the first session, we will discuss the theoretical ideas behind discourse analysis – focusing especially on the Foucauldian approach. In the second lecture, we will not only dive into methodological discussions but also apply the method in class by analysing a number of texts with support of a qualitative text analysis software.

Session 1: The origins of critical discourse analysis (the Frankfurt school, Foucault, post-structuralism, feminism); how theoretical backgrounds shape research design
Session 2: 'Doing' discourse analysis: analysing methods and approaches

Target audience
  • University Students from Tier 1 Departments
  • Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available here

Number of sessions: 2

# Date Time Venue Trainer
1 Wed 28 Oct 2020   10:00 - 11:30 10:00 - 11:30 SSRMP Zoom Robert Dorschel
2 Wed 11 Nov 2020   10:00 - 11:30 10:00 - 11:30 SSRMP Zoom Robert Dorschel
  • To provide an overview of so-called critical approaches to discourse
  • To engage in-depth with Foucauldian discourse analysis
  • To critically examine methodologies
  • To practice discourse analysis with the assistance of a data analysis software

Suggested reading, and other teaching resources can be found on the course's Moodle page.

Session 1:

  • Foucault, Michel (2002): The Archaelogy of Knowledge. London: Routledge Classics (Part II, 2-7, Discursive Formations, The Formation of Objects, The Formation of Enunciative Modalities, The Formation of Concepts, The Formation of Strategies (pp. 34-85); Part IV, 1, Archaeology and the History of Ideas (pp. 151-157) e-access via University library)
  • Foucault, Michel (1995): Discipline and Punish. Vintage Books. Part I, The Body of the Condemned (pp. 3-31). e-access via University library

Session 2:

  • Reiner Keller (2011): The Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse (SKAD). In: Human Studies, 34 (1)
  • Herzig, Christian / Moon, Jeremy : Discourses on corporate social ir/responsibility in the financial sector. In: Journal for Business Research 66(10):
  • Nancy Fraser and Linda Gordon (1994), “A Genealogy of Dependency” A Genealogy of Dependency: Tracing a Keyword of the U.S. Welfare State,” Signs: Journal of Women, Culture and Society, 19(2)

This module is not assessed.

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Moodle is the 'Virtual Learning Environment' (VLE) that the SSRMP uses to deliver online courses.

SSRMP lecturers use Moodle to make teaching resources available before, during, and/or after classes, and to make announcements and answer questions.

For this reason, it is vital that all SSRMP students enrol onto and explore their course Moodle pages once booking their SSRMP modules via the UTBS, and that they do so before their module begins. Moodle pages for modules should go live around a week before the module commences, but some may be made visible to students, earlier.

For more information, and links to specific Moodle module pages, please visit our website:

Qualitative Methods

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