Discursive psychology: can it be of use to the people whose constructions are examined.
de Kok, Bregje
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de Kok, B. (2009) Discursive psychology: can it be of use to the people whose constructions are examined., , , , ,
There is a growing number of studies which classify themselves, or could be classified, as Discursive Psychology(DP), one form of discourse analysis, inspired by conversation analysis. A considerable number of these studies has analysed constructions of health and illness, focusing for instance on constructions of illness identities, illness labels or illness 'cognitions'. In this talk, I want to make a case for the practical relevance of DP and related studies, drawing on my doctoral research on constructions of infertility, its causes, consequences and solutions in Malawi. I will explore DP's potential to inform design of health interventions in line with key concepts in health promotion, such as community development and empowerment. However, I will also review limitations and hurdles to ensuring that DP is of use to those people whose constructions it examines. Examples of such hurdles are problems related to generalizability and analysing talk in 'foreign' cultural settings, and the difficulty of translating DP findings to non-academic audiences.