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Doing Discourse Research

Doing Discourse Research
An Introduction for Social Scientists

December 2012 | 176 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This book provides an introduction to the basic principles of discourse research and provides practical research strategies for doing discourse analyses in the social sciences. The book includes guidance on developing a research question, selecting data and analyzing it, and presenting your results. The author has extensive practical experience in the field of discourse research and shows throughout how the methods suggested are compatible with numerous research questions and problems in sociology, cultural, political and social studies and related disciplines.
The Current Relevance of Discourse Research

Collective Orders of Knowledge and Discourses

Approaches in Discourse Research
The History of the Term 'Discourse'

Discourse Analysis

Discourse Linguistics and (Corpus-based)

Critical Discourse Analysis and Kritische Diskursanalyse


Culturalist Discourse Research

Discourse Theories

Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse

Further Disciplinary Developments


The Research Process


General Foundations

Doing Discourse Research
Getting Started

The Exploration of the Field of Investigation

Selection of Data

Other Data Formats and Methods

The Detailed Analysis of Data
The Situational and Material Nature of a Statement

Formal and Linguistic-Rhetorical Structure

The Interpretative Analytics of Contents

From Detailed Analysis to Overall Results
From Utterances via Statements to Discourse and Beyond

Interpretation and Presentation of Results

Concluding Remarks

Keller's book is a very complete introduction to discourse theory and discourse analysis for social science postgraduates. After reading it, you are able to say: "with my research questions in mind, thís is the right discourse theory for me, and thís is the right approach to collect and analyse my data." It is rare to come across such a useful textbook, given the enormous variety of approaches to discourse research.
Sarah Scheepers
K.U. Leuven

This book on doing discourse research is fascinating and important. It brings the doing of research into a new realm through the use of a comprehensive investigative framework that lends itself to educational studies at a time when the widespread use of technology has pushed discourse into new forms of analysis.
Linda M. Phillips
University of Alberta


This book is a definite asset for qualitative researchers who plan to use discourse research methodology. One unique feature is an expansive review of philosophers and discourse experts beyond the usual array of European leaders...In summary, qualitative researchers seeking a philosophically grounded introduction to discourse analysis and discourse researchers alike will benefit from reading this book. It offers rich and varied insights about discourse from philosophical, conceptual, linguistic foundations as a starting point for discourse analysis.

Kathleen Shannon Dorcy
University of Washinghton Tacoma

Recent decades have witnessed a growing interest in the study of discourse in a wide range of disciplines across the social sciences and humanities... In this volume, Keller succeeds in providing a timely and succinct introduction to the basic principles and practical research strategies in discourse studies.

Song Guo, School of Foreign Languages, Tianjin University of Commerce, P.R. China
Discourse Studies

A convincing hands-on, yet theoretically sophisticated textbook.

Dr Christian Dayé
Sociology , University of Graz
October 18, 2016

Extremely useful introduction to discourse analysis. Especially the Critical Discourse Analysis I consider to be a very fruitful methodical approach - also beyond Social Sciences, i.e. in Humanities.

Professor Xenia Zeiler
Department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki
May 27, 2016

This is a useful introduction to research for beginners. It will be one among other texts which I would recommend to students in the early stages of their training.

Mr Kieran Vivian-Byrne
Faculty of Health Sport and Science, University of South Wales (Glamorgan)
December 10, 2014

Helpful to have basic understanding of DA.
Although students usually prefer step by step kind of guidelines, this book will outcut the way

Dr Moheeb Abualqumboz
Faculty of Business and Law, Leeds Beckett University
November 22, 2014

This text introduces discourse research in a very succinct and accessible manner. It is highly recommended for those new to doing discourse analysis as well as to more advanced researchers, especially those interested in the materialities of discourse.

Mr Kelechi Ekuma
Institute for Development Policy and Management, Univ. of Manchester
September 20, 2014

An interesting work because it deals with the main theoretical and analytical approaches to discourse with a clear structure and with good recommendations to start with research.

Dr Fernando Ramallo
Translation and Linguistics, University of Vigo
March 19, 2014

This book provides students with an excellent insight into the broad possibilities of investigation, the methods and the related research questions of discourse studies! I will highly recommend it to my students working on research papers on questions about the current state of art of language politics in the European Union and to students in other courses too.

Ms Roswitha Kersten-Pejanic
Department of Slavic studies, Humboldt University of Berlin
January 13, 2014

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Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Reiner Keller

Reiner Keller (Dr. Phil) is Professor of Sociology at Augsburg University (Germany) since 2011. He was a member of the executive board of the German sociological association from 2015 to 2019 and chaired its sociology of knowledge section from 2011 to 2016. Currently, he is a codirector of the Jakob Fugger Center for Transnational Studies at Augsburg university and coeditor of the Journal for Discourse Research. His research centres on sociology of knowledge and culture, discourse studies, sociological theory, qualitative methods, risk and environment, and French sociology. He has published extensively in these areas. Keller received the... More About Author

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