Discourse Analysis: Examining Language Use in Context
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Discourse analysis is paramount in the negotiation and construction of meaning of the social world. Discursive psychologists believe that truth is a discursive construction and that the world can be represented in an unlimited number of ways. This paper discusses the importance of context and culture in discursive interactions. The paper discusses knowledge as situated and contingent and thus an explanation of a psychological phenomenon should take into account the context or culture and circumstances of social interactions. The relevance of positioning and intertextuality in discursive interactions and meaning making processes are highlighted. It is further discussed that people’s perception about a psychological phenomenon is not enduring and stable across situations and time; instead, it can change to suit the context and purpose of discourse. It is suggested that discourse analysts should systematically adduce reasons to justify and validate the value of their research claims.