Discursive research: Applications and implications

Sally Wiggins, Alexa Hepburn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


This collection builds on an interconnected set of developments in the study of discourse. These include the powerful and rigorous approach to interaction offered by contemporary conversation analysis, the respecification of the nature of psychology in terms of practices and orientations offered by discursive psychology, and the sophisticated empiricism offered by modern ways of recording, manipulating and representing interaction. Taken together these provide the basis for a systematic, analytically based approach for studying the world as it happens. This work stands on its own intellectual merits as a contribution to the study of human life. And we should, anyway, always be cautious of the way social researchers invoke an ‘ideology of application’ to justify their work. Claims about application are often promissory notes that weaken as we look more closely at the connections between academic knowledge and actual practice (Potter, 1982). Nevertheless, in this final chapter we will push the discussion forward to consider how these developments can be the basis for some new ways of considering the relevance and application of social research, particularly in institutional settings. The application of social science research has traditionally taken a variety of forms and raises a number of complex issues. For example, what is applied (the theory or knowledge or findings)? Who is application for (e.g., doctors or patients)? The style of discursive work reported in this volume offers its own possibilities in terms of the use of the findings and raises new issues about the nature of application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDiscursive Research in Practice
Subtitle of host publicationNew Approaches to Psychology and Interaction
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780511611216
ISBN (Print)9780521849296
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Discursive research: Applications and implications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this