Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Discourse Analysis

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_80


The term “discourse analysis” is mostly associated with developments in social psychology in the late twentieth century (e.g., Potter & Wetherell, 1987). It gave rise to the area or subdiscipline now described as discursive psychology (see entry), but the original term is still widely used to refer to a research method. Discourse analysis is relevant to critical psychologists for its association with two significant challenges. The first is methodological and concerns, broadly, the status of talk data as evidence. The second is ontological and concerns the nature and site of phenomena which were conventionally considered internal to the person, including attitudes, emotions, memories, and identities. Together and separately, these put in question many of psychology’s established premises and claims.


The simplest definition of discourse is as some form of language use, such as talk or writing. The analysis of discourse may initially be technical, involving close...

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Online Resources

  1. Discourse analysis: A bibliographic guide. http://discourseanalysis.bokee.com/inc/20050120231555563641.pdf

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK