The Philosophical Underpinnings of Social Constructionist Discourse Analysis

Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 7 (1):155-171 (2011)
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The Philosophical Underpinnings of Social Constructionist Discourse Analysis Although discourse analysis emerges as a multi-faceted research method reflecting various schools of thought, disciplines and approaches, it is possible to pinpoint some meta-theoretical issues or fundamental assumptions common for most of them. This article aims to investigate different philosophical aspects and theoretical foundations that inform discourse analysis, such as the interplay between epistemological and ontological dimensions or the definition of language itself. Because space does not allow an in-depth discussion of all the theoretical orientations collectively contributing to the development of social constructionist discourse analysis, this paper focuses on poststructuralist, constructivist, and social realist positions, and also attempts to trace the roots of social constructionism in linguistic philosophy, phenomenology, and hermeneutics. Hopefully, this article will provide the opportunity to develop meta-theoretical reflections on discourse analysis, thus striking the balance between the philosophy, methodology and practice.



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