Discourse Analysis Re-Formulated As Engaged Practices of Thorizing Social Processes

Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 4A KS (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Distributed Paper
Hakushi HAMAOKA, Nova School of Business and Economics, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
In this paper, discourse analysis is re-formulated as one of the most effective methods with which to investigate social processes embedded in everyday language use. It does so by drawing upon narrative frameworks, typically theories about plot or emplotment.

The re-formulated discourse analysis deals with linguistic data as both synchronic and diachronic data. The synchronic data refer to data that can be classified into particular categories in accordance with particular coding schemes. The diachronic data are data elements of which are associated with one another in accordance with particular rules. Such rules originate in intuitively learned ways of acting/perceiving as well as a variety of institutions and cultural inheritances. Hence, by analyzing data as diachrony, processes by which particular social norms are emerging out of lay actors' language uses can be examined. More specifically, the diachronic connections are re-constructed (or created) by analysts’ imagination by reference to the synchronic data to be achieved through coding. Such seemingly arbitrary imagination of analysts can be legitimated by structuring it not only with analysts’ investigative concerns or research questions but also the constitutive elements of plot: acts, actors, scenes (choice opportunities), purposes and agencies, all of which should be predicated on the synchronic data.

After demonstrating some examples of empirical data analysis, the paper argues that by dealing with words as both synchronic and diachronic data, social processes embedded in everyday language use can be analyzed systematically in ways that address power relations, including the positionality of analysts. In the re-formulated discourse analysis, analysts engage themselves in their subjects’ reality by imaginative construction of diachrony (or narratives). By engaging analysts in the subjects' power structures, research outcomes, i.e., theories and models, are expected to enhance engaged conversations between analysts and practitioners, thus, increase practical relevance.