How is reality manufactured? The idea of social construction has become a commonplace of much social research, yet precisely what is constructed, and how, and even what constructionism means, is often unclear or taken for granted. In this major work, Jonathan Potter offers a fascinating tour of the central themes raised by these questions.
Representing Reality overviews the different traditions in constructionist thought. Points are illustrated throughout with varied and engaging examples taken from newspaper stories, relationship counselling sessions, accounts of the paranormal, social workers' assessments of violent parents, informal talk between programme makers, political arguments and everyday conversations. Ranging across the social and human sciences, this book provides a lucid introduction to several key strands of work that have overturned the way we think about facts and descriptions, including: the sociology of scientific knowledge; conversation analysis and ethnomethodology; and semiotics, post-structuralism and postmodernism.
Jonathan Potter is Professor of Discourse Analysis and Dean of the School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences at Loughborough University. He has studied topics such as scientific argumentation, current affairs television, riots, racism, relationship counselling and child protection helplines. His main focus recently has been on the study of helpline interaction, on interaction during family mealtimes, on the conceptualization of cognition in interaction research, and on issues of psychology and institutions. He a world authority on qualitative methods and has written on discourse analysis and discursive psychology, focus groups, the study of psychological issues. Recently has raised questions about the over-reliance of social scientists on open-ended qualitative interviews. He has taught workshops and short courses on analysis in 10 different countries.
Psychology After Discourse Analysisis the third volume in the series and addresses three central questions:
How did discourse analysis develop inside psychology?
How does discursive psychology address concerns about the traditional ‘laboratory experiment’ paradigm in psychology?
What is the future for discourse analysis?
The book provides a clear account of the various forms of discourse analysis that have been used within psychology, and provides a review of their significance for a new generation of psychologists. The early chapters present a framework for understanding the origins of these various forms, as well as the differences between them. Emphasizing the gap between discursive psychology and mainstream psychology, Parker then explores relations between discourse analysis, psychoanalysis, social constructionism and the postmodern turn in the social sciences. The final chapters describe the limitations of discourse analysis and explore its flaws as a framework and as a practice, questioning its future within academia and in political and social contexts beyond psychology.
Psychology After Discourse Analysisis essential reading for students and researchers in psychology, sociology, social anthropology and cultural studies, and for discourse analysts of different traditions. It will also introduce key ideas and debates within critical psychology to undergraduates and postgraduate students across the social sciences.
Relativist versus realist tensions go to the heart of current theoretical and methodological issues, not only within psychology but across the social and human sciences. By mapping the connections between theory, method and politics in social research and placing these within the context of the broader social constructionist and discursive debates, the internationally renowned contributors offer the reader an invaluable survey of the debates.
The Third Edition includes:updates reflecting the many new developments in theory, research, and practice a more student-friendly, personal writing style three new chapters on education, and therapy and health care, and organizations key insights into how social construction can help support you in your research projects, from start to finish. An Invitation to Social Construction is the must-read text for all social science students, academics and practitioners wishing to learn about social constructionism, along with the forms of inquiry and practice central to its impact.
The internationally renowned contributors explore the tensions and opposing viewpoints raised by these issues, and show how analyzing the psychological subject interrelates with reforming the practices of psychology. Drawing on perspectives that include feminism, dialogics, poststructuralism, hermeneutics, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and cultural or social studies of science, readers are guided through pivotal debates in the field.
Focus Groups moderation is understood in terms of the cutting edge theories of interaction. It concentrates on the basic and subtle processes through which moderators elicit opinions, manage disagreements, and generate a range of views. How are participants encouraged to be animated and involved, and how are the arguments and anecdotes discouraged? How are responses guided to in the required direction? This book addresses these pertinent questions.
Above all, how does a moderator keep participants focused?
This unique book will be essential reading for all involved in focus group practice. It is accessible to broad readership, including undergraduate students.
The central project of this multidisciplinary volume is a wholesale reappraisal of psychological concepts of human action, mental states, language and social interactions. Derek Edwards reviews a wide range of thought and research to demonstrate how the dominant cognitive approach to psychology has failed. He makes a compelling case for language to be best understood as a kind of activity, as discourse.
The argument draws upon ethnomethodology, conversation analysis, linguistic philosophy and social studies of science. These influences underpin a fascinating intellectual survey ranging across cognitivism, discursive psychology, shared knowledge, categories and metaphor, emotion and narrative. The emphasis throughout is on the value of close empirical study of text and talk, through which the topics of mind, world and `who we are' are seen as `ways of talking'.
The implications of a discursive perspective for such topics are explored alongside a sustained argument against the perceptual-cognitivist emphasis that currently dominates psychology. A particular theme is the reconceptualization of memory and attribution. The authors examine the communicative and interactional work performed when individuals, with interests, describe and explain past events, construct factual reports and attribute mental states. They draw on a wide range of empirical materials to demonstrate the methods and analysis underpinning their approach.
Reframing fundamental issues of language and mind as social practices realized in discourse, Discursive Psychology offers a profound challenge to existing orthodoxies while also establishing an exciting new agenda in the social and human sciences.