Analysing Discourse. An Approach From the Sociology of Knowledge

Reiner Keller


The contribution outlines a research pro­gramme which I have coined the "sociology of knowledge approach to discourse" (Wissens­sozio­logische Diskursanalyse). This approach to dis­course integrates important insights of FOU­CAULT's theory of discourse into the interpretative paradigm in the social sciences, especially the "German" approach of hermeneutic sociology of knowledge (Hermeneutische Wissenssoziologie). Accordingly, in this approach discourses are con­sidered as "structured and structuring structures" which shape social practices of enunciation. Un­like some Foucauldian approaches, this form of discourse analysis recognises the importance of socially constituted actors in the social production and circulation of knowledge. Furthermore, it com­bines research questions related to the concept of "discourse" with the methodical toolbox of qual­itative social research. Going beyond ques­tions of language in use, "the sociology of knowl­edge ap­proach to discourse" (Wissenssozio­logi­sche Dis­kurs­analyse) addresses sociological inter­ests, the analyses of social relations and politics of knowl­edge as well as the discursive construction of re­al­ity as an empirical ("material") process. For empiri­cal research on discourse the approach proposes the use of analytical concepts from the sociology of knowledge tradition, such as inter­pretative schemes or frames (Deutungsmuster), "clas­sifi­ca­tions", "phenomenal structure" (Phäno­men­struktur), "narrative structure", "dispositif" etc., and the use of the methodological strategies of "grounded theory". URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0503327


sociology of knowledge; discourse; politics of knowledge; symbolic interactionism; frame; classification; narrative structure; grounded theory; Foucault; Berger; Luckmann

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Copyright (c) 2005 Reiner Keller

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