Kevin C. Dunn and Iver B. Neumann offer a concise, accessible introduction to discourse analysis in the social sciences. A vital resource for students and scholars alike, Undertaking Discourse Analysis for Social Research combines a theoretical and conceptual review with a “how-to” guide for using the method. In the first part of the book, the authors discuss the development of discourse analysis as a research method and identify the main theoretical elements and epistemological assumptions that have led to its emergence as one of the primary qualitative methods of analysis in contemporary scholarship.
Then, drawing from a wide-range of examples of social science scholarship, Dunn and Neumann provide an indispensable guide to the variety of ways discourse analysis has been used. They delve into what is gained by using this approach and demonstrate how one actually applies it. They cover such important issues as research prerequisites, how one conceives of a research question, what “counts” as evidence, how one “reads” the data, and some common obstacles and pitfalls. The result is a clear and accessible manual for successfully implementing discourse analysis in social research.
“This is quite simply the best introductory overview of how to actually ‘do’ discourse analysis I know of. Spanning the distance between analytical and critical methodology, poststructural theory, and concrete steps for gathering and evaluating relevant data, Dunn and Neumann have filled an important gap in the literature for students of discourse analysis at every level.”
— Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, American University
“In this concise, well-written, impressively researched text, Dunn and Neumann provide a badly needed resource for the social sciences: a discourse analysis methods book with instructions, examples, and substantive analysis. This text makes discourse analysis in the field accessible, and provides a guide not only to doing it but also to understanding it. An impressive accomplishment!”
— Laura Sjoberg, University of Florida
“An appropriate and useful source for both graduate and postgraduate courses on qualitative research methodology as well as for introduction to specialized courses on discourse analysis.”
— Milena Komarova, Queen’s University Belfast
“Whether it is undergraduate, postgraduate, or doctoral research, this book will be an invaluable guide to the conduct of discourse-theoretical analysis in the social sciences.”
— Laura J. Shepherd, UNSW Australia
Cover: iStockphoto © Kenneth Drysdale