Reconciling Theory with Method: From Conversation Analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis to Positioning Analysis
Not only is it often challenging to wade through the many different discourse analytic approaches to studying talk-in-interaction, but it is also often challenging to understand how certain methods adequately capture the complexity of the theories that lie behind them. What is needed are methods that are analytically sophisticated enough to empirically demonstrate the complexity of the theories that make fashionable and relevant the analysis in the first place. To illustrate this quandary, I will trade on some of the recent tensions between two of the most popular approaches—Critical Discourse analysis (CDA) and Conversation Analysis (CA). More specifically, attention is given to recent methodological attempts to synthesize a middle-ground position between CDA and CA. The focus of my overall argument will be that Positioning Analysis offers a viable analytic way to reconcile the discrepant methodological orientations while trading on the shared theoretical convictions of both CDA and CA.
positioning; positioning analysis; conversation analysis; critical discourse analysis; theory; method