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Asta Rau, Florian Elliker & Jan K. Coetzee

In: The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Collection

Chapter 19: Collecting Data for Analyzing Discourses

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Collecting Data for Analyzing Discourses
Collecting Data for Analyzing Discourses
Asta RauFlorian EllikerJan K. Coetzee
WHAT IS DISCOURSE? WHAT IS DISCOURSE ANALYSIS?

The term discourse is so prevalent nowadays that its meaning has become indistinct and ‘in danger of becoming all things to all people’ (Kendall and Wickham, 1999, p. 35). In its most commonsense everyday use, discourse is simply a synonym for ‘talk about something'. At this level we cannot speak of analysis. A more finely tuned use of the term ‘discourse’ is to signal patterns of language use and meanings that belong to specific social or disciplinary domains – for instance, religious discourse, psychological discourse, political discourse, and medical discourse. At this level we can speak of analysis to some extent, given that we need to ...

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