Critical discourse analysis and the problem of methodology

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Critical Discourse Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, 2009, pp. 65 - 77
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The question of methodology in Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is complex and emergent as the field grows and develops after coming to prominence as a major arm of the broader field of discourse analysis over the past decade or so. The boundaries of CDA within this broader field have formed in relation to a certain conception of the 'critical' - itself a particular subset of possible ways of being critical. As a consequence, CDA evinces a particular set of research questions that can be asked by means of the particular kinds of critical theory that are drawn on. This chapter discusses key questions that arise in a consideration of CDA in terms of research methodology: is CDA a methodology, a set of methods, a theory, or theoretical orientation? Is it a movement, a school? What methodological questions are and are not being addressed within the literature in CDA? We consider the methodological underpinnings of CDA in terms of their epistemological implications - what kind of knowledge is produced by CDA methods. W first present a brief overview of some of the key discussions of method and methodology within a representative array of recent texts, then take up a set of issues for further debate, in order to situate CDA within contemporary debates about social research methodology. These issues include dialectical relations, researcher positioning, reception and reflexivity. The chapter challenges CDA to become more reflexive about its epistemological and methodological underpinnings. © 2009 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
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