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How do discourse analysts treat language?

They treat it in terms of language performing social functions rather than what the language means or the meaning behind it.


What are the two main things that are explored during discourse analysis?

The person's discourse and the micro-rhetorical devices they use.


What is discourse analysis?

When you interpret language in terms of what the individual is doing with it rather than what the language means.


List 5 approaches within discourse analysis

Conversation analysis
Discursive psychology
Positioning theory
Rhetorical analysis


Define ontology

The nature of beings and the world
The theory of knowledge and how one discovers it
The tools and techniques of research


List the 3 ontological positions and which one does discourse analysis position itself in?
Give an example of a research method that fits in each

Strong realists (tend to be naive): Strong beliefs in reality and things being quantifiable, uses scientific methods. Experiments and then softer quantitative methods (questionnaires).
Critical realist: Approximate 'truths', objective but can be quantitative or qualitative. Quasi methods.
Relativist: There an no 'truths', qualitative methods are used to capture multiple realities. This is where discourse analysis positions itself. Reality only exists through peoples claims. Discourse analysis, CDA methods like interviews.


What is the difference between a realist and a relativist?

A realist believes reality is a load of facts waiting to be discovered.


What is an empiricist?
Which one is a type of realist and which one is a relativist?
What philosophical method is this?

The belief that senses help you know the objective world
The belief that knowledge is gained from people and senses aren't always trusted, the claims from people are then analysed.
Empiricist: realist. Constructionist: Relativist


List a perspective in the social constructionism method
List one in the positivism empiricism method

Discourse analysis
Cognitive (aka meanings behind thoughts)


List the main assumptions of social constructionist epistemology, give an example for each

Historical and cultural specificity (e.g. asexuality)
Taken for granted knowledge is viewed with a critical stance (different societies may have different perceptions of the world, e.g. colour categories like black, blue etc. may have different categories)
Knowledge is gained through social processes (Darwinism or creationism?)
Language is a pre-condition to thought (e.g. language having an affect on how children perceive colour)
Knowledge and social go together (e.g. discourse, knowledge is acquired through exposure to language)
Focuses on the variability of accounts (e.g. contradicting opinions within a block of speech to help justify a controversial belief, "I'm not against immigrants but...")


What is discursive psychology interested in?

It's interested in what people are doing rather than what they are saying, it looks for an action orientation. For example, traditional psychological phenomena like justifying, blaming, categorising etc. are action orientations and are discursive features.


What's another term for discourse and what is discourse?

Interpretative repertoires.
A coherent way of talking about or constructing a subject, object or activity, to do this a register of terms and metaphors can be used. They're the building blocks of conversation and allow common sense and social understanding. It is constitutive. For example, from discourse we can identify someone as schizophrenic or delinquent. Also, religious discourses can cause implications on our views of the homosexuals.


What do discourse analysts examine?

How speakers construct truth and reality and how they perform social actions


How do discourse analysts look at their data?

They look at their data as if it's theoretical framework concerning discourse and its role in social life. They also look at how discourses vary in different contexts and how grammar, terminology and figures of speech can form a discourse. It looks at how objects and subjects are constructed.


List some micro-rhetorical devices and define them

Categories: e.g. boys/girls
Disclaimers: When a negative attribute is anticipated and rejected, "I'm not racist but..."
Extreme case formulation: When something is exaggerated to be persuasive, "best, amazing, incredible"
Contrast structure: Contrasting descriptors or situations
Metaphor or analogy: Used to position yourself or others
Pronoun use: Used to separate or include yourself
Passive voice: Transitioning yourself from an active object to something passive aka inanimate.
Positioning: Language that positions you and others in relation to the external world. E.g. powerful vs powerless, active vs passive.
Affect displays: Doing words in relation to emotions, e.g. laughing, crying, sniffing.
Narrative fillers: Playing down the speakers interest in the content of the description, I don't know, y'know.
Reported speech: Speaking the words of others to add credibility
Script formulation: Formulating an action as being normal
Detail vs vagueness
Three part list