Posts tagged ‘ethnographic discourse analysis’

29 October 2009

Ethnographic discourse analysis – Part II

300_64486Another exciting take on (or: use of) ethnographic discourse analysis is Helen Gregory’s study of poetry slams. In her Art in Action: Exploring Poetry Slam with Ethnographic Discourse Analysis paper at ESA2009 (9th Conference of European Sociological Association, Lisbon, 02-05 September 2009) she tells us she is particularly interested in:

The merits of interdisciplinary research (combining especially sociology, psychology and the arts) the epistemological and theoretical underpinnings of such research what counts as a “text” the performative construction of auto/biography and identity and challenging the micro/macro divide.

She continues:Poetry_Slam

The study uses discourse analytic and ethnographic tools of enquiry to explore how slam participants mobilise poetry, informal conversation and other forms of action to weave stories about themselves and others.

It will be argued that these auto/biographies work both to construct individuals’ identities, and to help them to negotiate the status hierarchies which structure their daily lives and interactions. Ethnographic and discourse analytic approaches can thus be combined to produce an informative and sensitive account of the construction of identity in everyday interaction. I will contend that such in-depth explorations of micro level interaction are essential if we are to achieve a full understanding of the macro level social structures and processes which they help to constitute. After all, as Mead (1934: 37) notes, “history is nothing but biography, a whole series of biographies”.

(Pictures courtesy of Habse(e)ligkeit and Lone Star College)

28 October 2009

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?

25 February 2009

Discourse and ethnography

Leon Barkho’s paper “The Discursive and Social Power of News Discourse: the case of Aljazeera in comparison and parallel with the BBC and CNN” in the latest issue of Studies in Language and Capitalism (3/4) (p.111) combines textual (CDA) analysis with ethnographic analysis (e.g.,  observation, stories, field visits, interviews, media reports and style guidelines).