Review Essay: How Critical Discourse Analysis Faces the Challenge of Interpretive Explanations from a Micro- and Macro-theoretical Perspective

Una Dirks


The review starts with a brief outline of recent publications on Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and its historical roots. Next, the volume is discussed on behalf of the features its editors, Ruth WODAK and Gilbert WEISS, have attributed to CDA themselves: i.e., 1) clarification of the basic CDA-notions, 2) the interpretive explanatory as well as critical impact of providing insights into institutional, structure-related dimensions in connection with textual/discursive, action-related aspects, and 3) the formation of methodically controlled second-grade constructions. Against this background, the volume's articles bring to light remarkable theses, searching strategies, and research findings that focus on the self-reflexive critique of the "critical" or on the situation of underprivileged and discriminated group members in different fields of action. Herewith, CDA presents itself as an interdisciplinary project in process that strives to meet high empirical standards, of both linguistics and social studies. In line with this endeavour, the reviewer puts emphasis on the systematic differences between basic research and applied research as well as on the need of operationalising a theory of action in all details.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0602261


critical discourse analysis; interdisciplinarity; micro- and macro-theoretical perspectives; (self-) reflexivity; interpretive explanations; theories of situations and actions; Max WEBER; Hartmut ESSER; middle-range theories

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Copyright (c) 2006 Una Dirks

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