To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Over the past few decades new ways of conceiving the relation between people, practices and institutions have been developed, enabling an understanding of human conduct in complex situations that is distinctive from traditional psychological and sociological conceptions. This distinctiveness is derived from a sophisticated analytic approach to social action which combines conversation analysis with the fresh treatment of epistemology, mind, cognition and personality developed in discursive psychology. This text is the first to showcase and promote this new method of discursive research in practice. Featuring contributions from a range of international academics, both pioneers in the field and exciting new researchers, this book illustrates an approach to social science issues that cuts across the traditional disciplinary divisions to provide a rich participant-based understanding of action.
Feeding children can be one of the most challenging and frustrating aspects of raising a family. This is often exacerbated by conflicting guidelines over what the ‘correct’ amount of food and ‘proper’ eating actually entails. The issue becomes muddier still when parents are accused of mistreating their children by not feeding them properly, or when eating becomes troubled in some way. Yet how are parents to ‘know’ how much food is enough and when their child is ‘full’? How is food negotiated on a daily level? In this chapter, we show how discursive psychology can provide a way of understanding these issues that goes beyond guidelines and measurements. It enables us to examine the practices within which food is negotiated and used to hold others accountable. Like the other chapters in this section of the book, eating practices can also be situations in which an asymmetry of competence is produced; where one party is treated as being a less-than-valid person (in the case of family practices, this is often the child). As we shall see later, the asymmetry can also be reversed, where one person (adult or child) can claim to have greater ‘access’ to concepts such as ‘appetite’ and ‘hunger’. Not only does this help us to understand the complexity of eating practices; it also highlights features of the parent/child relationship and the institutionality of families.
Alexa Hepburn, Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology, Department of Social Sciences Loughborough University,
Sally Wiggins, Lecturer in Psychology, Centre for Applied Social Psychology University of Strathclyde
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.
This collection builds on an interconnected set of developments in the study of discourse. These include the powerful and rigorous approach to interaction offered by contemporary conversation analysis, the respecification of the nature of psychology in terms of practices and orientations offered by discursive psychology, and the sophisticated empiricism offered by modern ways of recording, manipulating and representing interaction. Taken together these provide the basis for a systematic, analytically based approach for studying the world as it happens. This work stands on its own intellectual merits as a contribution to the study of human life. And we should, anyway, always be cautious of the way social researchers invoke an ‘ideology of application’ to justify their work. Claims about application are often promissory notes that weaken as we look more closely at the connections between academic knowledge and actual practice (Potter, 1982). Nevertheless, in this final chapter we will push the discussion forward to consider how these developments can be the basis for some new ways of considering the relevance and application of social research, particularly in institutional settings.
The application of social science research has traditionally taken a variety of forms and raises a number of complex issues. For example, what is applied (the theory or knowledge or findings)? Who is application for (e.g., doctors or patients)? The style of discursive work reported in this volume offers its own possibilities in terms of the use of the findings and raises new issues about the nature of application.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.