Lugano, Switzerland

Discourse Theory and Analysis

when 22 August 2022 - 26 August 2022
language English
duration 1 week
fee CHF 700

The aim of this workshop is to explore the practical application of discourse theory to the analysis of textual data. There are many different versions of discourse analysis; this course focuses specifically on types of discourse analysis which are part of the wider family of interpretative methodologies, and which emphasise the links between language and power. Interpretative methodologies are grounded in a social constructionist perspective on social life, reminding social scientists of the constructed nature of the social 'facts' that are studied. Against this backdrop, discourse analysis helps researchers to explore topics such as: the meanings and identities through which individuals, groups, or organisations make sense of their everyday lives and interactions, and through which they reproduce or challenge their social, organisational and political environments; meanings and identities produced within public policy frames, political activism, or bodily practices; social exclusions or inclusions within media or internet settings; the discursive reproduction or transformation of social norms around national identity, gender, sexuality, disability, migration, racialized identities, ‘old age’ or ‘youth’, etc.

More precisely, the workshop will (1) examine key interpretative methodologies such as interactionnism, ethnomethodology and hermeneutics, and examine how these perspectives translate into concrete research questions and frameworks for ‘doing’ discourse analysis and (2) explore the application of practical techniques of discourse analysis, focusing especially on textual materials (which can include media or internet materials, archival texts, personal diaries, policy and legal texts, organisational and management documents, activist discourses, scientific discourses, or interview transcripts). Although the lectures, exercises and readings will also address wider methodological issues such as researcher reflexivity and validity concerns, the main emphasis of the workshop is on practical applications of discourse theory and analysis through daily exercises in class. Participants are welcome to bring their own data to the Summer School if they wish to do so, and will have a chance to discuss and work on their own data or their research project more generally in individual tutorials during the week.

Course leader

Véronique Mottier is Professor in Sociology at the University of Lausanne, and Director of Studies and Fellow in Human, Social and Political Sciences at Jesus College, Cambridge.

Target group

Prerequisites

No particular prerequisites are needed for this course, but you will be sent several preparatory texts to read a month before the summer school starts.

Course aim

The aim of this workshop is to explore the practical application of discourse theory to the analysis of textual data. There are many different versions of discourse analysis; this course focuses specifically on types of discourse analysis which are part of the wider family of interpretative methodologies, and which emphasise the links between language and power. Interpretative methodologies are grounded in a social constructionist perspective on social life, reminding social scientists of the constructed nature of the social 'facts' that are studied. Against this backdrop, discourse analysis helps researchers to explore topics such as: the meanings and identities through which individuals, groups, or organisations make sense of their everyday lives and interactions, and through which they reproduce or challenge their social, organisational and political environments; meanings and identities produced within public policy frames, political activism, or bodily practices; social exclusions or inclusions within media or internet settings; the discursive reproduction or transformation of social norms around national identity, gender, sexuality, disability, migration, racialized identities, ‘old age’ or ‘youth’, etc.

Credits info

The Summer School cannot grant credits. We only deliver a Certificate of attendance, i.e. we certify your presence

If you consider using Summer School workshops to obtain credits (ECTS), you will have to investigate at your home institution (contact the person/institute responsible for your degree) to find out whether they recognize the Summer School, how many credits can be earned from a workshop/course with roughly 35 hours of teaching, no graded work, and no exams.

Make sure to investigate this matter before registering, if this is important to you.

Fee info

CHF 700: Reduced fee: 700 Swiss Francs per weekly workshop for students (requires proof of student status).
These fees includes also participation in one of the preliminary workshops (two-day workshop preceding the Summer School).
To qualify for the reduced fee, you are required to send a copy of an official document that certifies your current student status or a letter from your supervisor stating your actual position as a doctoral or postdoctoral student. Send this letter/document by e-mail to methodssummerschool@usi.ch.
CHF 1100: Normal fee: 1100 Swiss Francs per weekly workshop for all others.
These fees includes also participation in one of the preliminary workshops (two-day workshop preceding the Summer School).

Scholarships

As the Summer School is financed through participant’s fees alone and has no funds of its own, it cannot offer any scholarship, grants or financial aid.