Conceptualizing Discursive Analysis as a Culturally Contextualized Activity

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Adjei, S Baffour
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Discursive psychology recognizes the primacy of the social and relational nature of human life. Research participants whose discourses (empirical data) we analyze do not exist independent of material and social world. In this paper, I attempt to develop an understanding of discursive analysis of social and psychological phenomena as a culturally contextualized activity in which discursive researchers analyze and interpret participants’ discourses in the light of the cultural context in which the discourses are embedded. First, I provide a brief background to discursive psychology. Second, I discuss the cultural embeddedness of discursive analysis. I then conceptualize discursive data analysis as a culturally contextualized enterprise by drawing upon my own reflexive accounts on gender-based violence research to illustrate how discursive analysts can bring together an analysis of in-the-moment performative accounting with an understanding of the cultural context in which this accounting is embedded. I argue for and foreground research participants’ lived experiences and the embodied socio-cultural meanings as origins of the consciousness and social behavior of people with whom and about whom psychological research is conducted. I conclude that data analysis is not and cannot be an innocent activity; it involves active thinking through the cultural lens of both the researcher and the researched.
Adjei, S. B. (2019). Conceptualizing discursive analysis as a culturally contextualized activity. The Qualitative Report, 24(9), 2233-2243.