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Discursive psychology: between method and paradigm

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journal contribution
posted on 02.03.2012 by Jonathan Potter
Hammersley (2003) criticizes a particular style of discourse research for developing as a distinct paradigm, yet lacking the coherence a paradigm would require. He suggests a range of problems in relation to constructionism, reflexivity and the ‘thin’ model of the human actor, and argues instead for methodological eclecticism in which discourse analytic methods are supplementary to alternatives. This commentary highlights a range of confusions and misunderstandings in this critique. In particular, it highlights the way discourse analytic work is connected to a range of theoretical notions, most fundamentally in its theorizing of discourse itself as a medium oriented to action. It identifies important sources of incoherence that can arise when mixing discourse analytic and more traditional methods. It reiterates the virtues of constructionism, particularly when considering the operation of descriptions, stresses the value of exploring (rather than ignoring) reflexive issues, and emphasizes the rich and nuanced approach to psychology that has been developed in this tradition.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Citation

POTTER, J., 2003. Discursive psychology: between method and paradigm. Discourse and Society, 14 (6), pp. 783 - 794

Publisher

© Sage Publications

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

2003

Notes

This article was published in the journal, Discourse and Society [© Sage Publications]. The definitive version is available at: http://das.sagepub.com/content/14/6/783

ISSN

0957-9265;1460-3624

Language

en

Exports