Discourse and Social Psychology: Beyond Attitudes and Behaviour

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9780803980563: Discourse and Social Psychology: Beyond Attitudes and Behaviour
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`Potter and Wetherell have genuinely presented us with a different way of working in social psychology. The book's clarity means that it has the power to influence a lot of people ill-at-ease with traditional social psychology but unimpressed with (or simply bewildered by) other alternatives on offer. It could rescue social psychology from the sterility of the laboratory and its traditional mentalism' - Charles Antaki, The Times Higher Education Supplement

This book is the first systematic and accessible introduction to the theory and application of discourse analysis within the field of social psychology.

Discourse and Social Psychology includes chapters on the theoretical roots of discourse analysis in linguistic philosophy, ethnomethodology and semiotics and an overview on the perspectives of discourse analysis and its utility in studying attitudes. Five substantive chapters are concerned with the key concepts of social psychology. Finally, the authors identify future research directions and present an exhaustive bibliography of all relevant literature.

The authors draw on a wide range of examples from written and spoken discourse and avoid jargon at all times, even when introducing complex theoretical issues.

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Review:

`An exciting mix of both the substantial questions of social psychology and a more general methodology for human sciences' - Center for Kvalitativ Metodeudvikling Newsletter

`An invigorating breath of fresh air - clear, innovative and compelling. With bold theoretical vision and a range of creative research strategies, the volume brings social psychologists into catalytic connection with communications specialists, micro-sociologists, linguists, and philosophers of social science. A significant step toward a post-modern psychology' - Professor Kenneth J Gergen, Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania

`Potter and Wetherell have genuinely presented us with a different way of working in social psychology. The book's clarity means that it has the power to influence a lot of people ill-at-ease with traditional social psychology but unimpressed with (or simply bewildered by) other alternatives on offer. It could rescue social psychology from the sterility of the laboratory and its traditional mentalism' - Charles Antaki, The Times Higher Education Supplement

`a bold, programmatic statement... not a work to be ignored, especially by social psychologists... the sort of clarity of writing which comes from a clarity of thought' - Michael Billig, The Psychologist

`This book provides a clear and interesting introduction to discourse analysis for social psychologists... (it) could have far-reaching effects on the teaching of psychology, the nature of research and, more generally, on the shape or feel of the subject... It is possible that this book will spark off a very large number of research papers since Potter and Wetherell do go to great lengths to show the readers how to do it... the impact on social psychology, not to mention the subject as a whole, could indeed be far-reaching' - John L Smith, The Psychologist

`Potter and Wetherell have written an important book. Although intended for `the advanced undergraduate student', it presents clear statements of theoretical, philosophical and methodological positions which will be of interest to many researchers... In the hands of Potter and Wetherell, discourse analysis offers us reconceptualizations of many areas of social psychological concern... Discourse and Social Psychology effectively introduces discourse analysis to a certain audience' - British Journal of Social Psychology

`timely and welcome, in a position to make a significant impact on the theoretical underpinnings and empirical direction of social psychology as a whole... (if this) lucid and engaging text... succeeds in constructing an alluring identity for discourse analysis among the ranks of students and teachers of social psychology (and perhaps well beyond), we can only applaud the initiative, and think that this will be to the long-term benefit of social psychology as a whole' - Journal of Language and Social Psychology

`A thought-provoking counter to the quantitative, quasi-experimental appraoches which tend to dominate SPR meetings... I didn't feel that all I learned about qualitative discourse methods was by denigration of the methods I currently use. That's a big improvement on some work in this tradition... this ia a good book' - Network, The Newsletter of the Society for Psychotherapy Research

About the Author:

Jonathan Potter is Professor of Discourse Analysis and Dean of the School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences at Loughborough University. He has studied topics such as scientific argumentation, current affairs television, riots, racism, relationship counselling and child protection helplines. His main focus recently has been on the study of helpline interaction, on interaction during family mealtimes, on the conceptualization of cognition in interaction research, and on issues of psychology and institutions. He a world authority on qualitative methods and has written on discourse analysis and discursive psychology, focus groups, the study of psychological issues. Recently has raised questions about the over-reliance of social scientists on open-ended qualitative interviews. He has taught workshops and short courses on analysis in 10 different countries.

Margaret Wetherell is Professor of Social Psychology at the Open University, UK and Director of the Economic and Social Research Council Programme on Identities and Social Action.

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9780803980556: Discourse and Social Psychology: Beyond Attitudes and Behaviour

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Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd, 1987
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