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Doing Discourse Analysis in COVID-19 Conditions: A Foucauldian Approach

Research in Times of Crisis

ISBN: 978-1-80071-798-5, eISBN: 978-1-80071-797-8

Publication date: 20 September 2021


The ongoing global pandemic poses significant challenges for researchers, personally and professionally, as it does for all people. However, even if we cannot safely leave our home to gather qualitative data by directly meeting with people, opportunities abound for engaging in discourse analysis. After all, people have not stopped talking or writing, even if much of that is now via Zoom, social media or some other technology platform rather than face to face. What people are talking and writing about at this time matters greatly because language use profoundly shapes how people interpret reality, perceive themselves and others and act. Quite literally, then, the discourse people engage in and are influenced by during the pandemic may help to save or imperil lives and livelihoods. While there are many possible approaches to discourse analysis, this chapter focuses on some key insights French philosopher and social theorist Michel Foucault offers for such endeavors. It offers an introductory account of his key concepts and methods, followed by a brief case study to demonstrate their application to discourses that reject scientific knowledge and advice about COVID-19.



Wilson, S. (2021), "Doing Discourse Analysis in COVID-19 Conditions: A Foucauldian Approach", Hill, A.D., Lê, J.K., McKenny, A.F., O'Kane, P., Paroutis, S. and Smith, A.D. (Ed.) Research in Times of Crisis (Research Methodology in Strategy and Management, Vol. 13), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 37-52.



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