Review Essay: Conversation Analysis Versus Other Approaches to Discourse


  • Paul Ten Have University of Amsterdam



conversation analysis, discourse analysis, discursive psychology, critical discourse analysis, Foucauldian discourse analysis


This review discusses a recent book by Robin WOOFFITT in which conversation analysis (CA) is confronted with some other analytic approaches to "discourse." The author uses the term discourse analysis in a rather specific way, as a label for an analytic tradition that has become prominent in (social) psychology in the UK. Two other traditions, critical discourse analysis and Foucauldian discourse analysis are also discussed later in the book. The major criticism raised in the review is that the book’s usefulness is limited by its restriction to approaches currently en vogue in Britain and its selective treatment of CA. In an Epilogue the issues raised in the book are discussed in a wider perspective. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs060239


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Author Biography

Paul Ten Have, University of Amsterdam

Paul TEN HAVE ( was, until his retirement in 2002, associate professor in sociology at the University of Amsterdam. His last book is Understanding Qualitative Research and Ethnomethodology (Sage, 2004). He is currently engaged in preparing a second edition of his previous book, Doing Conversation Analysis: A Practical Guide (Sage, 1999).




How to Cite

Ten Have, P. (2006). Review Essay: Conversation Analysis Versus Other Approaches to Discourse. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 7(2).