FB 6 Mathematik/Informatik/Physik

Institut für Mathematik

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Introduction to Discourse Analysis: Theories and Methods




The discursive turn in social sciences, within both alternative and mainstream approaches has become increasingly visible in the last three decades. While approaches vary in epistemology and methods, a unifying tenet of discourse analysis is the rejection of a positivist approach to reality. As opposed to positivist assumptions, reality is not seen as objective and universal, but socially determined and reproduced over time and space. This alternative social ontology allows the researcher to situate established social practices on the plane of political struggles. In this seminar, we will discuss particular approaches within discourse analysis and their application in social sciences. While other traditions such as Critical Discourse Studies (CDS) and Foucauldian discourse analysis represent important strands within discourse studies, we will chiefly focus on the Essex School of discourse-theoretical approach, influenced by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. Previous knowledge on discourse theory is not required for this course, however an interest in postpositivist discourse studies is expected.

The seminar is divided into three parts: In the first part of the seminar, we will study the historical-theoretical background of discourse theory and situate poststructuralist discourse studies within these traditions. Core concepts of society, hegemony, and subjectivity within discourse-theoretical approach will be traced to (post-)structuralist works of Saussure, Derrida, and Althusser.

The second part will look deeper into methodologies under political discourse analysis, where we will discuss the scope and limits of “applying” discourse-theoretical approach in social sciences.

In the third and last part of the seminar, your own empirical engagement with discourse analyses will be showcased. For this, you will present your analysis on an empirical case of your choice in small groups (max. 3 people). Discourse analysis can be applied to a variety of research areas, e.g. neoliberalism, austerity, financial crises within International Political Economy scholarship, as well as populist politics, emancipatory social and feminist movements, migration, and climate change.

More detailed instructions on the presentations and research topics will be discussed during the first session.

Weitere Angaben

Ort: 01/106
Zeiten: Mi. 10:00 - 12:00 (wöchentlich), Termine am Freitag, 26.11.2021 16:00 - 18:00
Erster Termin: Mittwoch, 20.10.2021 10:00 - 12:00, Ort: 01/106
Veranstaltungsart: Seminar (Offizielle Lehrveranstaltungen)


  • Europäische Studien > Master-Studiengang > Master Europäisches Regieren (ab WS 2014/15)
  • Sozialwissenschaften > Master Soziologie
  • Sozialwissenschaften > Master Politikwissenschaft