What is 'applied discourse analysis'? How can discourse analysis inform social and psychological interventions? What are the advantages and disadvantages of these applications? Discourse analysis has become increasingly popular as a research tool in psychology and as a subject taught on undergraduate courses. However, discourse analysts have been reluctant to move beyond deconstruction and to make recommendations for practice in the social world. This book seeks to identify ways in which discourse analytic research can inform recommendations for social and psychological practice. It presents six detailed discussions of discourse analytic studies, each of which engages with a contemporary social practice: reproductive technologies, police-suspect interviewing, stress self-help literature, sex education, clinical diagnoses of 'schizophrenia' and cigarette smoking. These six chapters map out a continuum of orientations to application, ranging from a clear commitment to specific interventions to a position of cautious engagement.
The book concludes with a summary and evaluation of the ways in which discourse analysis may be used to reconcile the spirit of deconstruction with a commitment to practical application.