Discursive research: Themes and debates

Alexa Hepburn, Sally Wiggins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

25 Scopus citations


There has been a quiet revolution in the social sciences. Over the past few decades new ways of working and new ways of conceiving the relation between people, practices and institutions have been developed. These have started to make possible an understanding of human conduct in complex situations that is distinct from the traditional conceptions offered by disciplines such as psychology and sociology. This distinctiveness is derived from the sophisticated analytic approach to social action that has been developed by conversation analysis combined with the fresh treatment of mind, cognition and personality developed in discursive psychology. Both of these approaches work with the displayed perspectives of participants in interaction, perspectives embodied in people's constructions and orientations. In addition, this research has exploited the new recording technology and representational forms that enable it to engage more immediately with human practices; that is, to study ‘the world as it happens’ (Boden, 1990) instead of working through the mediation of interviews, questionnaires or ethnographic field notes. This work offers a sophisticated and theoretically nuanced empiricism that focuses on discourse as the central medium for action, psychology and understanding. This book brings together researchers who have been doing discourse research in this new tradition. It features well-known contributors, some of them pioneers in their field, as well as exciting new researchers who are still early in their careers. Most come from the fields of discursive psychology and conversation analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDiscursive Research in Practice
Subtitle of host publicationNew Approaches to Psychology and Interaction
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780511611216
ISBN (Print)9780521849296
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)


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