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Research Report

Our Talk and Walk: Discourse Analysis and Conflict Studies

Jeannine M. Suurmond
Copyright Date: Oct. 1, 2005
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 43

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. i-ii)
  2. (pp. iii-iv)
  3. (pp. v-v)
  4. (pp. vii-vii)
    Bart Klem
  5. (pp. ix-x)

    Creating coherence out of broken images is the challenge of the storyteller. Cultivated by stories and experiences that in turn become part of the stories, we may wonder which life activity is actually not involved in story making. During the most intense experiences, we run out of words. Some experiences prove inexpressible. Stories, discourses and narratives make up our identities, realities and the way we attribute meaning to our lives. As such, we, skilled storytellers, create coherence and order. Bringing order in chaos, consistency and coherence constrain choice and freedom.

    Having an identity constrains choice. Identities consist of stories, at...

  6. (pp. 1-6)

    For a solid understanding of present day’s variety of discourse analytic schools of thought, this chapter will discuss some of the main ideas in Western philosophy, which have been an inspiration to contemporary discourse scientists. In the effort to be both as complete and as brief as possible, the richness and complexity of some categorizations and descriptions are inevitably simplified.

    Language was a hot topic in ancient Greece. Decisions were made through speech acts like deliberation and voting. It was the political skill of the age. Those who could speak or write well could influence the public debate. No wonder...

  7. (pp. 7-17)

    Over time, the term ‘discourse’ has been described in very narrow as well as very broad definitions. In some cases, discourse research papers do not even define the term precisely. A common denominator for discourse analysis is the emphasis on language. A second denominator, although already more contested, will be the effect of language in and on the world. Therefore, some researchers (e.g. Gee, 1999) distinguish between ‘little d-discourse’ and ‘big D-discourse’, the first referring to the linguistic definition of discourse as a variety of approaches studying text and talk, the latter referring to the, for example, Foucauldian definition of...

  8. (pp. 19-22)

    The previous two chapters have touched upon the philosophical developments preceding the ‘discursive turn’ in science (Ch 1) and the consequently wide development of an array of discourse schools (Ch 2). The aim was to provide a broad overview of the most important discourse schools of the moment, discussing their theory, methods and assumptions. It has become clear that any researcher interested in discourse analysis can study topics out of intrapersonal, interpersonal and intergroup perspectives, to investigate cognitive, psychological, linguistic, conversational, political, or ideological phenomena.

    When applying certain discourse analytical techniques, which fundamental premises does one have to accept? The...

  9. (pp. 35-40)