Ethnographic discourse analysis

On a random google for others also working on “ethnographic discourse analysis”, I came across some interesting links.

Martin Müller’s book, Making great power identities in Russia: An ethnographic discourse analysis of education at a Russian elite university (Zürich:LIT). A university seminar in Vienna (Gabriela B. Christmann).Thomas Scheffer’s Research Report: Statements, Cases, and Criminal Cases. The Ethnographic Discourse Analysis of Legal Discourse Formations in FQS. And a job offer: Assist. Prof of Ethnographic Discourse Analysis at Georgetown (from 1995!).

A detailed review of Steinkuehler, C. (2005). Learning in Massively Multiplayer Online Games: A Critical Approach shows how Steinkuehler explores MMOGs is not only as a discursive practice but also participating in a discourse. She’s primarily interested in learning, and analyses specific interactions and literacy practices. Draws on Geertz and Gee (Big ‘D’ discourses). The reviewer is clear that this is an important book for her research, and writes:

I also get my understanding of game play as situated in a multiplicity of discourses from Steinkuehler and while I have become leery of completely downplaying the digital physicality of virtual worlds I can’t deny the linguistic or at the very least literary nature of the interactions that I observe online. While incomplete her explanation of communities in MMOGs as both communities of discourse and communities of practice is a useful tool for understanding communities in online settings and if her vision of MMOGs as discourses can be somewhat monolithic I’m not prepared to completely abandon it because of that one flaw.

Now I’m wondering what happens if we take a larger definition of ‘discourse’ — akin to Laclau and Mouffe’s work, or the Essex school as they are now being called, or even Gee’s Big ‘D’ disocurses. If we understand discourse as not only language, but also a range of other practices and even physicality, does the separation of ‘community of discourse’ and ‘community of practice’ break down?


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