Ethnographic Discourse Analysis and Social Science


  • Felicitas Macgilchrist Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research
  • Tom Van Hout Leiden University



ethnography, discourse analysis, hegemony, writing process analysis, journalism, Russia


Drawing on the perspectives of ethnography and discourse analysis, this paper first gives an overview of the emerging body of research bringing together the epistemologies and the methods of these two perspectives. It then presents a novel analytical framework for computer-assisted ethnographic discourse analysis. The paper outlines how close analysis of discursive practices—in this case journalistic writing practices—can provide insights into struggles over meaning and hegemony in contemporary knowledge work. The case study explores the production of a financial news story about the supply of gas to French consumers, and the way the practices in question subtly write Russia as a threat. URN:


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Author Biographies

Felicitas Macgilchrist, Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research

Felicitas MACGILCHRIST is Research Fellow in the Globalisation Research Unit at the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig, Germany. Her primary current research project is an ethnographic discourse analysis exploring the production of contemporary educational media. Her publications include Journalism and the political: Discursive tensions in news coverage of Russia and articles on journalism, Russia, educational media, discourse theory and globalization.

Tom Van Hout, Leiden University

Tom VAN HOUT is Assistant Professor in the Humanities Faculty at Leiden University and visiting lecturer in the Department of Management at the University of Antwerp. He holds a PhD in linguistics from Ghent University and specializes in the ethnography of institutional communication and new(s) media. He has recently published work on intertextuality, news production and news sourcing.




How to Cite

Macgilchrist, F., & Van Hout, T. (2011). Ethnographic Discourse Analysis and Social Science. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12(1).