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Thematic Analysis versus Discourse Analysis

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Joshua Johnston

on 17 June 2011

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Transcript of Thematic Analysis versus Discourse Analysis

Thematic Analysis
and Discourse Analysis by Joshua P Johnston The Problem Intro to Qual
Case Study Research
Discourse Analysis Confusion! Do I know the differences between
"traditional" qualitative research
and Discourse Analysis? Definition

of

Terms "Traditional"
Qualitative
Research Discourse Analysis "Traditional" Any thematic analysis used by case study, interview studies, phenomenology, ethnography, etc (Hatch,2002;
Saldana,2009) Discourse Analysis Conversation Analysis Foucauldian
Discourse Analysis Critical
Discourse Analysis Discourse and
Social Psychology Discursive Psychology Guiding Questions 1. How do the different subcategories of DA differ from each other? 2.What characteristics of DA differ from the qualitative work I have already done? 3.How would the findings of a DA approach differ from the findings of a traditional qualitative approach to the same data? Developed by Sacks, Schegloff, and Jefferson
Influenced the other fields by initiating the micro level of analysis
Maintains a post-positivist stance
Looks for trends that are repeated throughout all conversations in an attempt to find the methods that “maintain an interactional social order” (Ten Have, 3)
Works to uncover the procedures that lie behind the everyday conversations (Sacks, Jefferson, & Schegloff, 1996) Analysts from DA approaches have picked up CA’s vocabulary and techniques to look at discourse in specific contexts.
For this reason some call it Applied Conversation Analysis (Ten Have, 2007). Based in Foucault’s body of work
Focuses on discourses that have historically worked to maintain power structures.
Traces its lineage back to Marxist
Uncovers how majority races, ethnicities, genders, and political parties use specific discourses to maintain what they perceive as normal and advantageous (Wooffitt, 2005)
Grows from philosophy and linguistics Looks at discourse that functions similarly to those examined by FDA
Focuses on context-specific (not historically developed) discourse
Like much work with a critical paradigm, seeks emancipation (Wooffitt, 2005)
Not a unified field, so stating any more generalities about it would over simplify the many philosophical, linguistic, and semiotic assumptions and practices that can be groups under this term (Wood and Kroger, 2005) What happened to
"unmotivated looking?" (Ten Have, 2007) Book 1:
Potter and Wetherell (1987) Discursive Psychology Grows out of ethnomethodology, the study of ordinary people’s methods
Uses the tools and vocabulary provided by CA, including stance of unmotivated looking
Takes as its central assumption that all discourse is doing something Reacting to Speech Act Theory
DP believes that people are constantly navigating through conversational interactions in an attempt to achieve certain outcomes.
Unlike Speech Act Theory, which uses hypothetical examples to demonstrate that utterances are either performing an action or making objective descriptions, DP believes that the specific construction of an utterance uniquely shapes it so that no utterance can convey an objective meaning (Potter & Wetherell 1987; Potter, 1996). Constructionist
and
Anticognitive DP believes that discourse is a co-constructed endeavor and conversationalists are both actively participating in the construction and interpretation of discursive events; despite this construction and interpretation neither of the conversationalists can be said to understand the real cognitive state of the other participants (Potter & Edwards, 1992; Potter, 1996). The anticognitivist stance belief is a divergence from other qualitative work that seeks accuracy and claims a real representation of participants. While a qualitative researcher may employ a rigorous process of member checking or inter-rater reliability measures to maintain trustworthiness, DP analysts offer one interpretation of what they understand the discourse to be doing and try to make the thinking behind that analysis transparent. What the participants meant, felt, or believed is not as important and is not at all accessible to analysts from a discourse analytic perspective. The anticognitivist stance belief is a divergence from other qualitative work that seeks accuracy and claims a real representation of participants. While a qualitative researcher may employ a rigorous process of member checking or inter-rater reliability measures to maintain trustworthiness, DP analysts offer one interpretation of what they understand the discourse to be doing and try to make the thinking behind that analysis transparent. What the participants meant, felt, or believed is not as important and is not at all accessible to analysts from a discourse analytic perspective. Two Examples: Russ Dion Intial "Findings" I began this study wanting to know what it was that drew people to Donuts! Donuts!, and the answer is a surprisingly simple one: the business has great customer service and a great product. People who come to the shop love it. A number of regulars visit the shop weekly and in some cases even daily. They are welcomed with a warm greeting and allowed to stay as long as they like. The staff takes an interest in their regulars. They remember names and favorite orders. They know who wants cream in their coffee, who sits at the counter, and who takes their orders to go. This stems from a company emphasis on great customer service, a concept emphasized in meetings and demonstrated by management. It's all made up! (Paulus,not long ago) JPJ: aumm (.2) what is tha:: (.)
what is the difference about coming back ↑HEre >because i-< (.) th[en this=]
RUSS: [is- (.) no: i-]
JPJ: =was kind of a new place, right?
RUSS: Yeah, but it’s not really a new place when you come back
because o- most of them we::re here be^fore JPJ: mmmhmm
RUSS: you know
so it’s more or less just coming over
and doing it all over again. RUSS:[I don’t think it’s] really unique (.2).
I don’t think it’s really unique.
it’s just a place \that-
>well, maybe it is kinda< unique to uh (.)
but >I think in other places< they do the same thing though [Garbled] in like Dunkin Donut.
I think Dunkin Donut has this- has groups like this °too° and other coffee shops and places (.)
it’s just a way of people (.hh) getting together
who know each other an
you know (.) and do it (.hh) RUSS: Yeah.
I don’t really like doughnuts. J: so (.) i- mostly a fiNANcial decision [then=]
D: [yeah]
J: [=to move over here=]
D: [yeah basically]
J: not a passion for sweets [°er anything°]
D: [no]
definitely not a passion for sweets D: you know them doughnuts ain’t emm (.)
>you know what I'm saying< a caREE:R (.) JO:B D: ^NO no not not FO:R (.) no it’s a \JOB you know what I’m saying but (.) it’s a ^JOB you know I got stuck here >°you know what I’m saying°< so Findings I have doubts about my previous conceptions of thematic coding in qualitative research
DA/DP is where I feel at home because it feels like what I have training in (the assumptions it makes fit me)
DA/DP takes much longer than the thematic coding of the same amount of data What's Next? Keep trying to figure it all out
Figure out where Ferdinand de Saussure, Roland Barthes, and Cleanth Brooks Questions? whatever
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