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Discursive approaches

Stokoe, Elizabeth H. and Wiggins, Sally (2005) Discursive approaches. In: Handbook of research methods in clinical and health psychology. Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K., pp. 161-174. ISBN 978-0-19-852756-5

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In this chapter, we introduce a method of qualitative analysis that focuses on exploring and explicating language in use. The discourse analytic approach we discuss has developed within psychology over the past fifteen years and is called 'discursive psychology' (DP) (cf. Edwards and Potter, 1992). We aim to provide a basic understanding of DP: its origins and foundations, its theory and approach to language, its questions and topics of investigation, its methods of data collection and analysis and, for the current purposes, its utility for clinical and health psychologists. To this end, our illustrations of the approach are drawn from a range of clinical and health contexts of interaction.