The Field of Foucaultian Discourse Analysis: Structures, Developments and Perspectives


  • Rainer Diaz-Bone Universität Luzern
  • Andrea D. Bührmann Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
  • Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez University of Manchester
  • Werner Schneider Universität Augsburg
  • Gavin Kendall Queensland University of Technology
  • Francisco Tirado Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona



Michel Foucault, Foucaultian discourse analysis, discourse analysis, field, paradigm


The article outlines the field of FOUCAULTian discourse analysis. The FOUCAULTian concept of discourse is introduced, and methodological positions and methodological developments are sketched. Compared to other qualitative social research approaches, the different researchers and research groups that have adopted the FOUCAULTian concept of discourse are not linked by a fully integrated common research paradigm. However, they share common methodological problems and areas of methodological research resulting from various references to FOUCAULTian positions. In the last decade, different research groups have become aware of these shared commonalities, so that one can speak of an emerging field of FOUCAULTian discourse analysis rather than an emerging paradigm. The article gives insight into the discourse analytic research in selected countries, discusses the internationalisation of FOUCAULTian discourse analysis and highlights current trends and perspectives. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0702305


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Author Biographies

Rainer Diaz-Bone, Universität Luzern

Rainer DIAZ-BONE, Dr. phil., Dipl. Soz.-Wiss., is assistant professor at the Institute of Sociology at the Free University of Berlin. Main research areas are: applied FOUCAULTian discourse analysis, empirical cultural sociology, economic sociology, empirical social research, social statistics, and social network analysis. Rainer DIAZ-BONE has published two review essays in FQS: Does qualitative network analysis exist? and Developments in the field of Foucaultian discourse analysis, the articles Milieu models and milieu instruments market research and Developing Foucault's Discourse Analytic Methodology. Also published are the two interviews Practical Elaborations. About the Development of Foucaultian Discourse Analysis in Germany. Jürgen Link in Conversation With Rainer Diaz-Bone and Critical Discourse Analysis. The Elaboration of a Problem Oriented Discourse Analytic Approach After Foucault. Siegfried Jäger in Conversation With Rainer Diaz-Bone.

Andrea D. Bührmann, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Andrea D. BÜHRMANN, Dr. phil, M.A., is, since 2004, private lecturer ("Privatdozentin") at the University of Münster/Germany. Currently, she is acting professor of sociology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich. Her main research areas and interests are: social and scientific theories, gender studies, empirical social research, and welfare studies.

Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez, University of Manchester

Encarnación GUTIÉRREZ RODRÍGUEZ is Senior Lecturer in Transcultural Studies at the University of Manchester. Her research can be placed at the juncture of Critical Migration Studies, Gender, Queer and Postcolonial Studies. She works on politics of belonging and identity, affect and work, Europe and post-coloniality, deconstruction, discourse analysis and ethnography.

Werner Schneider, Universität Augsburg

Werner SCHNEIDER, Dr. phil., Dipl.-Soz., studied sociology, psychology and pedagogic, and since 2003 has been professor of sociology at the University of Augsburg. From 1988 to 2003 he worked at the Institute of Sociology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. Main research areas are: discourse theory and discourse analysis, sociology of knowledge and culture, sociology of medicine, sociology of death and dying, sociology of family and marriage, and empirical social research.

Gavin Kendall, Queensland University of Technology

Gavin KENDALL is a sociologist at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, and was previously lecturer in psychology at Lancaster University. His books include Using FOUCAULT's Methods (Sage, 1999) and Understanding Culture (Sage, 2001), both written with Gary WICKHAM, and The State, Democracy and Globalization (Palgrave, 2004), written with Roger KING. His latest book, The Sociology of Cosmopolitanism (with Zlatko SKRBIS and Ian WOODWARD) will be published by Palgrave in 2008. Current research projects include ordinary understanding of risk, and the history of social theory. Gavin KENDALL is the corresponding author.

Francisco Tirado, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

FRANCISCO TIRADO holds a Dr. Ph. in Social Psychology. He is a Lecturer in the Social Psychology Department of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He is full member of the Group for Social Studies of Science and Technology (GESCIT). His interests cohere around four main topics: a) Science and Technology Studies, b) power relationships and political action in new sociotechnical contexts, c) citizen participation in technoscientific controversies; d) care technologies in a FOUCAULTian context. He is currently leading a project funded by the Ministerio de Educación y Cultura on care technologies with a German research group from Munich University titled "Feeling at home with technologies? An analysis of the impact of (assistive) technologies for the elderly and disabled people". He is the author of several articles and books on STS and Power Relationships in new sociotechnical contexts.



How to Cite

Diaz-Bone, R., Bührmann, A. D., Gutiérrez Rodríguez, E., Schneider, W., Kendall, G., & Tirado, F. (2007). The Field of Foucaultian Discourse Analysis: Structures, Developments and Perspectives. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 8(2).

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