Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ove K. Pedersen
The aim of discourse analysis is to reveal the ontological and epistemological premises that are embedded in language and that allow a statement to be understood as rational or interpreted as meaningful. Discourse analysis investigates whether—in statements or texts—it is possible to establish any regularity in not only the objects that are discussed, the subjects designated as actors, and the causal relations claimed to exist between objects (explanans) and subjects (explanandum) but also the expected outcome of subjects trying to influence objects, the goal of their action, and finally the time dimension by which these relations are framed. Discourses thus comprise the underlying conditions for a statement to be interpreted as meaningful and rational. At the same time, discourse analysis is the study of rationality and how it is expressed in a particular historical context. Discourse analysis is part of the constructivist (or social-constructivist) approach within the humanities and social ...