DISCOURSE ANALYSIS

THUY NGUYEN

KATIE

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Discourse Analysis: Making Complex Methodology Simple

As far as readability, this reading was a little confusing as far as the jargon. However, I did feel like the the structure and sections of the reading made a lot of sense and made the content easier to understand.

Discourse is considered a form spoken dialogue and in contrast to written texts. The document discusses how discourse analysis can be used in the IS reattach field. The author emphasizes the idea that the field of IS is changing and moving evolving from a positivistic view to one of that is defined more by the relationship between variables . The reading includes steps of how to analyze these type of texts.

I found discourse analysis to be really interesting. I like the idea of our words have meaning based on the experiences we’ve had. That also makes me question how accurate our interpretation of ANYTHING is. In the reading it says, “The main issue of hermeneutics is that the true interpretation has simply not yet been found, but rather that there is no such final interpretation”. First, I did have to look up what “hermeneutics” is and after reading the definition I am now questioning not only discourse analysis, but also philosophy and anything else that requires one to rely on ones interpretation.

Did You Know?

Yes, It’s True. When an unanticipated ER visit over the weekend interrupts your assignment flow, you discover something new. In other words, did you know that Discourse Analysis: Making Complex Methodology Simple by Bondarouk and Ruel ties into (aligns with) medicine as Discourse Analysis is a useful methodology for healthcare system research? Well, according to an article written in the National Library of Medicine, as interesting as it might be, I uncovered some detailed information alluding to said matter, such as:

Discourse analysis (DA) is an interdisciplinary field of inquiry and is becoming an increasingly popular research strategy for researchers in various disciplines, which healthcare researchers have little employed. The methodology involves a focus on the sociocultural and political context in which text and talk occur. DA adds a linguistic approach to an understanding of the relationship between language and ideology, exploring the way in which theories of reality and relations of power are encoded in such aspects as the syntax, style, and rhetorical devices used in texts. DA is a useful and productive qualitative methodology but has been underutilized within healthcare system research. Without a clear understanding of discourse theory and DA it is difficult to comprehend important research findings and impossible to use DA as a research strategy. To redress this deficiency, this article represents an introduction to concepts of discourse and DA, DA history, Philosophical background, DA types and analysis strategy. Finally, it discusses how it affects the ideological dimension of such phenomena discourse in the healthcare system, health beliefs and intra-disciplinary relationships in the healthcare system.

For at least three years now, “discourse” and “discourse analysis (DA)” have been fashionable terms. Usually, in scientific research and debates, it is used indiscriminately without being defined. Without a clear understanding of discourse theory and DA, it is difficult to comprehend important research findings and impossible to use DA as a research strategy. Hence, the article aims to help healthcare practitioners employ DA as an effective research strategy.

There are many explanations and definitions of discourse and DA. Discourse has been defined as “a group of ideas or patterned way of thinking which can be identified in textual and verbal communications, and can also be located in wider social structures.” In other definition “discourse is a belief, practice or knowledge that constructs reality and provides a shared way of understanding the world.” In a broad sense, discourses are defined as systems of meaning that are related to the interactional and wider sociocultural context and operate regardless of the speakers’ intentions. DA is a broad and diverse field, including a variety of approaches to the study of language, which derive from different scientific disciplines and utilize various analytical. DA examines language in use. As suggested by Fairclough, “Discourse is the use of language as a form of social practice, and DA is an analysis of how texts work within the sociocultural practice.” DA focuses on the ways that language and symbols shape interpretations of negotiators’ identities, instrumental activity, and relationships.

DA is both an old and a new discipline. Historically, DA path a way from linguistic approaches to socialistic approaches. Its origins can be traced back to the study of language, public speech, and literature more than 2000 years ago. One major historical source is undoubtedly classical rhetoric, the art of good speaking. Then, A new cross-discipline of DA began to develop in most of the humanities and social sciences concurrently with and related to other disciplines, like anthropology, semiology, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, and pragmatics. Many of these approaches, especially those influenced by the social sciences, favor a more dynamic study of oral talk-in-interaction. 

Mainly, DA’s philosophical base is a social constructionist approach. Social constructionism is an umbrella term for a range of new theories about culture and society. DA is just one among several social constructionist approaches, but it is one of the most widely used approaches within social constructionism.

Social linguistic analysis is constructivist and focuses on individual texts. It gives insight into the organization and construction of these texts and how they work to construct and organize other phenomena. The focus is not on the exploration of the power dynamics in which the texts are implicated.

Similar to social linguistic analysis, these discourse analyses are interested in the way in which broader discursive contexts come into being. They are not directly concerned with power. Individual texts are more important as background material.

Critical linguistic analysis shares with social linguistic analysis its focus on individual texts, but its main concern is the dynamics of power surrounding the text. Examining individual texts is for understanding how the structures of domination of the proximal context are implicated in the text.

Discursive psychology is part of the general movement of critical psychology, which has been reacting against mainstream social psychology, especially the sort of experimental psychology. The aim of discursive psychologists is not so much to analyze the changes in society’s “large-scale discourses,” which concrete language use can bring about, as to investigate how people use the available discourses flexibly in creating and negotiating representations of the world and identities in talk-in-interaction and to analyze the social consequences of this.

DA, as a qualitative approach, has an important role in the healthcare system because the healthcare system needs to be knowledgeable across the multiple paradigms and perspectives that inform an understanding of the biological, psychological, social, cultural, ethical, and political dimensions of human lives. Practice in this area is a political, cultural, and social practice and needs to be understood as such to improve the quality of care provided. Effective clinical reasoning relies on employing several different kinds of knowledge and research that draw on different perspectives, methodologies, and techniques to generate the breadth of knowledge and depth of understanding of clinical practices and patients’ experiences of those practices. DA can contribute to the development of this knowledge (Yazdannik, Yousefy, Mohammadi, 2017) and so on. Thanks Everyone! 🤗

Are We There Yet? Yeah…Maybe!

I connected with this week’s reading more than I have with the other articles we’ve read recently. The article,“Discourse Analysis: Making Complex Methodology Simple” by Tatyana Bondarouk and Huub Ruel, was more appealing because I could understand the ideas more easily, Also, in my days as an English teacher, a large part of my time was spent helping students “explore the relationship between discourse and reality, interpret a hidden meaning, and mediate it between the past and present” (Bondarouk and Ruel 6). In fact, while the article was explaining what discourse analysis is, I started to think it could be a useful approach for my research project.

In my research project, I wish to revisit The Great Gatsby, and the article specifically lists “novels” as one type of text that can be the subject of discourse analysis (Bondarouk and Ruel 6). Although times have changed dramatically since the 1920s when The Great Gatsby was released, the accepted analysis of the novel has not changed with the times. In order to “give meaning to a text within [the] framework of [my] experience” and the “time epoch, culture, and history” in which I am living (Bondarouk and Ruel 4), I would like to produce a version of the novel that addresses problems that are revealed when it is read in a modern context. Since the article mentions “context” 23 times, discourse analysis seems like a viable approach given my intended project.

Discourse analysis is the first research method we have studied that seemed like it would allow me to pursue the research project in which I am interested. In its effort “to produce a framework bridging the philosophical foundations, theoretical implications and ‘doing’ discourse analysis” and “contribute to the existing body of knowledge by developing such a framework and applying it to the IS field” (Bondarouk and Ruel 4), this article managed to help me do something that no other article we’ve read thus far has done–give me that feeling you get when a haziness in your mind clears and you can finally see a path forward. It’s possible that I’ll end up going in a different direction in the future, but I feel much better continuing with my creative research project knowing that discourse analysis is an option.

Discourse Analysis

Blog Notes

  • Hey Everyone. Let’s start by talking about where I am at with my research proposal.
  • Before I start I want to offer some helpful tips:
    • Don’t research on an empty stomach!
    • Exercise before you start working on your proposal. If your body is tired, it makes it more comfortable to sit in one place and do work for a long time. Your brain is also more alert and awake after exercise.
    • Work with a buddy! Fran and Erik and I worked on our separate projects but we were in the same space on the 5th floor of the Green Lane Building. We also had a Google Meet with Thuy since she couldn’t come in person.
      • This allowed us to keep each other motivated and not get bored.
      • We were able to bounce ideas off each other as well as share frustrations and roadblocks in our work.
  • So as far as where I am at. I have a lot of sources right now (about 30) which I am sifting through. I am working on identifying which out of the 30 that I will use for my proposal and annotating the ones that I will use. This allows me to knock out some of the lit review and also gain a better understanding of my topic which is performance poetry.
  • I also have some research questions that I am still refining based on what I learn from my sources.
  • I have not settled on a methodology, but I have some in mind and I will decide which one I will use or if I will use a combo of more than one.
  • I feel good about the project and my outline is coming along nicely.
  • I plan to continue annotating my sources and am planning to start working on a draft of the introduction this weekend.
  • It’s time for the reading notes.
  • So right off the bat this article is super interesting in that it focuses on discourse analysis related to information systems.
    • Information systems refers to things that collect, process, and store information.
    • So your laptop and smartphone are information systems.
    • This is interesting because I really like technology and it’s cool to see research aimed at trying to understand it.
  • The authors argue that one needs to take into account real life applications of the information systems, as well as the context (time and place), participants background, and researchers views when conducting discourse analysis on information systems.
    • I think this can be summed up as you can’t put a computer in a room and study how someone interacts with it because that would be taking the computer and person out of the real world. Instead, the authors suggest that one should study the compter and person(s) in a real life context. So you would study someone who works in an office and uses a computer in that setting because it is their real life setting.
  • The authors note that discourse analysis on information systems should not only say something about the technology, but also the users of the technology.
    • This shows how this methodology could be used to solve problems. Like if we are looking at the effect Instagram has on body image, we would’t just be studying Instagram and smartphones, we would also be studying the users of Instagram.
  • I love the 8 steps. It provides a clear guide on how to go about doing discourse analysis as a novice researcher. Whenever authors do this in articles, I appreciate it. Explain it to me like I’m stupid please because research is complex to a newbie.
  • It’s so interesting that this article deals with things like manuals for technology. It’s something that is so important that I take for granted until I can’t figure something out and the manual doesn’t help so I have to Google it.
    • Studies that look at these types of things can be used by so many different companies to directly help users navigate complex new technologies.
  • I think one of the most important pieces of this article is that the authors argue for the us of discourse analysis for real-life situations. This moves the methodology beyond hypothetical situations and into the realm of practical applications. With the pace the world moves at, new technologies are always being invented and implemented in our daily lives. With this article, the authors are not sitting in an isolated room thinking about what if scenarios. Instead they are looking at different technologies and what effects they have on society and the users.
    • This allows for the authors research to be useful to many different people from the average Joe to the CEOs of corporations and everyone in between.

blog #10 discourse analysis

This week we are treated with discourse analysis! At first when I was reading this I was getting a little lost–but truth be told it’s the end of the semester and my brain is getting a little foggy. BUT, Tatyana Bondarouk worded discourse analysis in a very helpful way. She said “ The concrete representation of discourses is texts, or discursive ‘units’. They make have a variety of forms: formal written records, such as news information, company statements and reports, academic papers; spoken words, pictures, symbols, artifacts, transcripts of social interactions such as conversations, focus group discussions, and individual interviews; or involve media such as TV programs, advertisements, magazines, novels, etc”. I think this explanation made me understand the research of discourse but don’t understand how it’s used per say. But Tatyana Bondarouk used 5 concluding remarks to as Fran also mentioned–simplify discourse analysis. Overall, it all led back to the significance of interpretation with this method. As a discourse analysis researcher you would study linguistic features, texts,and data from the past. But personally that seems like a lot of work. Essentially, you’re interpreting language that has been collected and categorizing them into groups to build a study. The author even mentioned that anyone who reads this research will probably have a different perspective/interpretation, but is that what we really need after a long intensive research?
Which brings me back to my research proposal. After last week’s class and workshopping with my peers, I have finally decided on my proposal question, plus the methodologies I will be using. So I will be researching “How do educators deal with their own trauma and how do these experiences affect/influence their teaching methods and interactions with students?”. With a mix of autoethnography and phenomenology. I figured autoethnography would be the best option since I have a lot of personal experience to talk about, as well as perhaps interviewing my fellow teachers with a phenomenological method. I’m finding it hard to get appropriate articles best suited for my research. I even used the KeanLibrary Database but I think I just need to try a little harder than letting myself get overwhelmed so easily. I also wrote up a few paragraphs of my proposal to get a start on things but it is definitely nowhere near close!

Discourse Analysis

As I step back from reading this, I honestly don’t 100% know what I just read. I’m looking forward to having it broken down because my head is still spinning. Nonetheless, here are my thoughts as I read.

One thing that left me “frazzled” about this reading was the vocabulary and jargon. Terms like hermeneutics, interminable, epoch, symlog, and much more left me scrambling to Google. Though I looked it up and kind of got an understanding while reading, it honestly made me feel overwhelmed.

“But that is only the result of the reflective movement in which the one thinking has reflected out of the unconscious operations of speaking and stands at a distance from himself. The real enigma of language, however, is that we can never really do this completely. Rather all thinking about language is already drawn back into language. We can only think in a language, and just this residing of our thinking in a language is the profound enigma that language presents to thoughts.”” (pg.4) Reading this felt like those scenes in shows or movies when a group is smoking weed, and someone says something so simple in a “profound” or “deep” way. For some reason, I feel like I lost brain cells reading this. It only furthered my confusion about this topic.

The idea behind discourse was really a head-scratcher for me since it made me look at things differently. I only thought of discourse as the conversation around a topic, but I learned that, in this article, discourse brings an object into being. (Whatever that exactly means) The analysis of it explores its relationship with reality, interprets it, and makes sense of it in relationship to the past and present. These feel pretty abstract to me, and seeing them put into action only illuminated so much for me. Even so, I appreciated that it presented a new way of thinking, especially since the article spoke about shifting how we view it.

One thing I did appreciate about this research was how thorough it was. I don’t feel I’ve come across anything as thorough as this. The execution of the operationalization scheme was very thoughtful. It left no stone unturned from the range in rankings to the dimensions. Further in their research and analysis, they engaged in member checks. As seen in a previous methodology, ensuring that the interviewee’s perspective and intentions are received is so important. This extra step shows just how far they’ll go for their research. Once they had collected all their data, there were seven levels of interpretation, with 16 sub-steps. They even read all the transcripts a minimum of four times. If this isn’t thorough work, I don’t know what is.

They also deciphered significance during the analysis and asked themselves what was noteworthy. Again, such thoughtful work. I think this is a question every researcher should ask themselves and really reflect on. It’s easy to get lost in the sauce and spew everything out, but sometimes that’s unnecessary.

While interviewing, the interviewers engaged in “provocative” questioning and asked things to challenge the interviewee. One, I would’ve loved to be a fly on the wall to those interviews. Two, this was a really interesting approach. I felt it was unconventional, but it was appropriate and relevant for this research and topic.

In the conclusion, I liked that they acknowledged the other side of the spectrum and that this may be too much for a researcher. “Giving aforesaid reasons and an endlessly ticking clock ‘publish or perish’ in academia, someone will definitely prefer well-known and quicker research methods.” (pg.13) I appreciated the transparency and authenticity because it is a lot. However, as mentioned, it does make a difference and does benefit the research.