Post-Foundational Discourse Analysis: A Suggestion for a Research Program

Tomas Marttila


Post-foundational discourse analysis, also labeled as Essex School in Discourse Analysis, has been observed to suffer from a considerable methodological deficit that limits its applicability in empirical research. The principal aim of this article is to overcome this methodological deficit by constructing the research program of the post-foundational discourse analysis that facilitates its operationalization in empirical research. In accordance with Imre LAKATOS (1970) and David HOWARTH (2004a), a research program is referred to an internally consistent and openly scrutinizable system of theoretical, methodological and phenomenal concepts that opens up the possibility to distinguish between the "negative" and the "positive" heuristics of empirical research. The first three sections develop the positive heuristics of the post-foundational discourse analysis by elucidating its theoretical foundations, methodological position and phenomenal framework. The concluding fourth section draws on the presented positive heuristics to outline the analytical stages and strategies of the post-foundational discourse analysis and discusses suitable methods for sampling and interpreting empirical data.



David Howarth; discourse; Ernesto Laclau; Essex School in Discourse Analysis; Imre Lakatos; methodological holism; post-foundational discourse analysis (PDA); Rainer Diaz-Bone; research program; second-order hermeneutics

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Copyright (c) 2015 Tomas Marttila

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