Essays Political Speech Analysis

On By In 1

Volume 2, No. 2, Art. 12 – May 2001

The Politics and Rhetoric of Conversation and Discourse Analysis: A Reflexive, Phenomenological Hermeneutic Analysis

Wolff-Michael Roth

Review Essay:

Ian Parker and the Bolton Discourse Network (1999). Critical Textwork: An Introduction to Varieties of Discourse and Analysis. Buckingham, England: Open University Press, 226 pages, ISBN 0-335-20204-7 (pbk) £16.99, 0-335-20205-5 (hbk) £50.00

Carla Willig (Ed.) (1999). Applied Discourse Analysis: Social and Psychological Interventions. Buckingham, England: Open University Press, 166 pages, ISBN 0-335-20226-8 (pbk) £16.99, 0-335-20227-6 (hbk) £50.00

Paul ten Have (1999). Doing Conversation Analysis: A Practical Guide. London: Sage, 240 pages, ISBN 0-7619-5586-0 (pbk) £16.99, 0-7619-5585-2 (hbk) £50.00

Table of Contents

1. Introduction-Producing Scene

2. Introduction-Producing Scene

3. Lecture on Reflexive Phenomenological Hermeneutic Analysis

4. Conversations with Authors

4.1 Talking about "talking about praxis"

4.2 The meaning of "meaning"

4.3 The absence of the body in writing

Supplement I: Ian Parker and the Bolton Discourse Network (1999). Critical Textwork

Supplement II: Carla Willig (Ed.) (1999). Applied Discourse Analysis

Supplement III: Paul ten Have (1999). Doing Conversation Analysis: A Practical Guide

Supplement IV: Writing a Review Article as Contingent and Historically-Situated Activity

Supplement V: Research and Writing as Contingent Activity

References

Author

Citation

 



A way of acknowledging the author in the text, making him announce a major theme of this review article. In translated way, the author also appears in the sidebar as a continuous reminder of his presence in the text and absence from the reading.

Quick but Dirty Definitions

  • Discourse Analysis: An Entry Point

    Discourse analysis (DA) is a form of analysis that focuses on language above the level of single utterance. The term discourse is sometimes used to refer to patterns of meaning that organize the different sign systems used by humans as part of constructing and navigating their worlds. These signs may be viewed strictly in terms of verbal language or, as the Critical Textwork shows, in terms of the notion of sign more generally, that is, any pattern that the material continuum can take (including bodies, cities, film, images). DA attempts to "recover meaning" from the "texts" that encode these discourses.

  • Debby TANNEN: Discourse analysis [External link, broken, September 2003, FQS]

  • Conversation Analysis: An Entry Point

    Conversation analysis (CA) and discourse analysis (DA) are two forms of analysis of language that, nevertheless, focus on quite different aspects. Conversation analysts are interested in the way language (langue) is used in interaction and how this use brings into being social organization and institutions. That is, CA focuses on talk-in-interaction. The fundamental assumption of CA is that "what a doing, such as an utterance, means practically, the action it actually performs, depends on its sequential position" (CA 6).

  • Conversation analysis: A quick overview [External link, broken, FQS, January 2004]

1. Introduction-Producing Scene

Two researchers (Michael and his alter ego, Ken) in a small hotel room—slightly damaged during an earthquake a few weeks earlier—in Seattle during the 2001 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. During the week and between attending a few sessions, Michael has been reading installments 2 and 3 for a review article, Critical Textwork (CT) and Applied Discourse Analysis (ADA), having read Doing Conversation Analysis (DCA) a week earlier during another conference.

Ken:

What have you learned from reading these books?

Michael:

(Long pause) I am not sure whether I learned from the books, in the sense of "getting something out of them." It is more a matter of developing my existing understanding in front of these books as text. These texts provide occasions in which understanding has unfolded, become articulated, and unveiled. Just look at the sidebars in the "introduction and first-level critique" to each volume.

Ken:

You emphasize in front of as distinct to from?

Michael:

Yes, because with RICOEUR I take interpretation to be an articulation of understanding in front of the text rather than a search for meaning inthe text or in some reality behind the text.

Ken:

How are you going to set up your analysis of these three books?

Michael:

Well, across the three books, the authors are giving me all the cues I need. David NIGHTINGALE (CT, chapter 14) introduces phenomenology and the role of the body, Hakan DURMAZ (CT, chapter 9) proposes to use activity theory as a framework for reading a piece of film, and the dialectic relation between understanding and (hermeneutic, scientific) explanation is articulate by Paul ten HAVE (e.g., DCA, pp.34ff). So I want to use some of the frames I found in a reflexive way and apply them the texts themselves.

Ken:

These references are only a pretext, for you are using your own theoretical framework, activity theory and the associated subject-centered (phenomenological) analytic method.

Michael:

Yes, I think that these allow me to articulate my ideas about these books, particularly some of the contradictions between the claims within these texts. Many authors neither articulated the different activities that produced their own texts and the texts that they analyzed nor articulated the relationship that their texts bear to the activity that produced their analyzed texts or to the activities that these texts speak about.

Ken:

I bet you will write a reflexive piece where content (message) and form of your argument (medium) are consistent with one another?

Michael:

I make us have a conversation about conversation analysis and discourse analysis. This is then a constructed world, a world set up deliberately and intentionally, in which people have relations that are designed. The author, as you can see from the sidebar, is always made present in the text—constructed as the books I reviewed or the worlds of the people the different texts are about. [1]

2. Introduction-Producing Scene

To be able to relate, compare, and distinguish different kinds of activities, I use activity theory (LEONT'EV, 1978), depicted here using ENGESTRÖM's (e.g., 1999) heuristic that focuses on six major dimensions of an activity system and on the way in which the relation between any pair of dimensions is mediated by a third (Figure 1). The six dimensions are the subject (individual or group) of the activity, the activity-motivating object, the tools available as resources in the activity, the narrower and larger community of which the subject is a part, the division of labor in the activity (e.g., roles), and the rules that exist in the community. For example, Figure 1 the activity of courtship around 1900 in Dublin from the perspective of the young woman J (CT, chapter 3), who is therefore the subject. The object of the activity is J's relation to T. However, this relationship between subject and object is not direct but mediated by the tools available to J. For example, language, the technology of writing, and the required instruments (paper, pen, and ink) mediate this relationship. Furthermore, the relationship between the subject and her object are also mediated by the roles that the early 20th century Irish society attributed to a woman and a man in a courtship relation (i.e., division of labor). The relationship between J and T is therefore mediated by the rules of conduct of their time. That is, an activity-theoretic analysis focuses not only on the primary entities but also on all the mediated relations that exist between any two pairs of entities. Most importantly, the entities and activity system are not stable but undergo continuous (historical) change. Activity theory is a cultural-historical form of analysis of activity. [2]



Figure 1: Activity system of courtship from the perspective of a young woman engaged writing letters to a local man, T. [3]

With this basic framework, I can articulate (and analyze) the relations between different activity systems and particularly the relationship between the activity that produces some artifact and the activity system in which these artifacts are anal-yzed. Thus, Figure 2 constitutes my way of depicting the relationship between (a) the activity of writing letters as part of courtship, (b) the activity of analyzing these letters, the objects of a second activity system, and (c) the activity that produces a review article, which takes the chapter as its object. Articulating the different activities in terms of neighboring and related activity systems allows us to ask questions about the relationship within and between activities. [4]



Figure 2: Relationship between a series of neighboring activity systems and the different texts (outcome) produced in each. [5]

Ken:

So you have found a way of introducing your currently favorite theoretical framework, activity theory, into this review article. But tell me, why this theory rather than any other?

Michael:

Activity theory appears to me as an appropriate heuristics because it articulates knowing and learning in a systemic way. Thus, from an activity theoretic perspective, I do not expect that a person who changes into another activity system knows and learns in the same way. The individual subject is embedded in a different way. Because the unit of analysis is the activity system, knowing and learning are not attributes of individual subjects but of activity systems.

Ken:

So you are saying that an individual, like one of the teachers I am coteaching with, is expected to be somehow different during teaching than during an interview situation?

Michael:

Yes! The difficulties we experience in thinking this through has, in my view, to do with the conflation of two forms of identity, which RICOEUR (1990) calls idem-identity and ipse-identity. The former refers to the identity of the body as a physical entity, which does not change when your teacher moves from the classroom to the interview room. The latter refers to the Self, which is a function of the context made thematic by activity theory.

Ken:

Let me get this straight. Activity theory can provide an account of the changing experience of Self, for example, of a person who is a loving husband and father in the morning and subsequently becomes a tough businessman who lays-off one thousand workers?

Michael:

Yes. Furthermore, activity theory acknowledges the historical dimensions of activity systems.

Ken:

But you have not made the historical dimensions of your own analysis clear!

Michael:

I did write it, but only point you to it at this place. By clicking here, you can see my earliest notes for this article and a brief analysis. But let me give a brief lecture on reflexive phenomenological hermeneutic analysis that I think goes well with the subject-centered (Marxist) critical psychology of Klaus HOLZKAMP (1983) that I use in conjunction with activity theory. [6]

3. Lecture on Reflexive Phenomenological Hermeneutic Analysis

In the past, knowledge, articulated in the form of scientific language and various mathematical forms has been viewed as a mirror of the world (RORTY, 1979). Scientists of all brands presupposed an isomorphism between a world described and articulated in the form of text and the worlds that we experience as part of being-in-the-world. More recently—in the wake of postmodern scholarship in literary studies and in the wake of empirical studies in scientific laboratories—the isomorphic relationship between texts (discourse, representations) and the world of lived experience (praxis) has not only been questioned but largely been debunked as myth (LYNCH, 1991). This has consequences not only for the relationship between scientific knowledge and the world it articulates but also for the relationship between human activity (praxis, including talk in praxis) and the articulation of this activity (talk about praxis, theory). [7]

Being-in-the-world (praxis) is the ground of understanding; this understanding "testifies to our being as belonging to a being that precedes all objectifying, all opposition between an object and a subject" (RICOEUR, 1991, p.143). Thus, many children and adults formulate well-structured sentences in and discourses of their mother tongue very well but know little (in explicit ways) about semantics or grammar. Understanding formulated in this way precedes all reflection. In interpretive work, this understanding is a prerequisite of the hermeneutic analysis that leads to explanation. That is, understanding envelops explanation, which it precedes, accompanies, and concludes. Explanation, in turn, develops understanding by articulating it and disclosing (structural) relations of its parts. Understanding and explanation are therefore two, dialectically related aspects of hermeneutic analysis. Hermeneutical reflection is reflexive because the constitution of meaning is contemporaneous with the constitution of the self. The analyst comes to understand not something that lies hidden behind a text but something disclosed in front of it. In the case of written text, what is important to understand interpretation is therefore less the author who signs a text (and his/her intentions) and more the reader who cosigns it (DERRIDA, 1988). [8]

Ken:

I begin to feel a little bit like the protagonist in MUSSORGSKY's Pictures at an Exhibition, leading the reader from one tableau to another. But let's attempt to unpack your lecture a little bit, it is pretty dense, "vintage Michael" as one of your reviewers once said. I see your first paragraph as linking the first-person perspective on lived experience to activity theory.

Michael:

Praxis has its own dynamic (BOURDIEU, 1980), providing the individual subject with a unique perspective. But teaching kids and being interviewed about teaching are quite different forms of praxis, giving rise to different ways in which we experience ourselves.

Ken:

I understand your focus on praxis as a grounding of knowing in lived experience, the adjective of "phenomenological."

Michael:

This primary understanding is the mostly unacknowledged basis of all scholarly activity, concerned with explanation, which, in the human and social sciences, requires hermeneutic analysis.

Ken:

So we have two adjectives, what about the third one, reflexive? Does it have to do with the notions of "critical doubt" (BOURDIEU, 1992), "suspicion of ideology" (MARKARD, 1984), and "hermeneutics of suspicion" (RICOEUR, 1981) that we have been bantering with in our own work?

Michael:

I see analysis as reflexive in two ways. First, because understanding and explanation form a dialectic unit, they are in a reflexive relation. Second, an analysis is reflexive when it takes itself as object. That is, understanding and explanation are not "applied" to objects external to themselves but to their own dialectical relation.

Ken:

Your final point pertains to the relationship of author, text, and reader.

Michael:

We used to think that reading allows us to recover the author's meanings or intentions, something behind the text, or meaning in the text. My own research on scientists' interpretation of unfamiliar graphs made me realize that they were not discovering information someone else "deposited" in the graphs but they were articulating and developing their own understanding of the world (e.g., ROTH & BOWEN, 2001). That is, the graphs (a form of text) presented occasions, work sites, for the scientists to articulate something that can be found neither in the graphs nor in the author's intentions.

Ken:

OK, I understand. So you take this as an analogy for your own reading of the three books. And you articulate this analogy in the bubble at the beginning of this text and in the sidebars of the more traditional reviews. [9]

4. Conversations with Authors

"Conversation with the author" or "meet the author" are the signifiers for a venue used by bookstores and publisher-exhibitors during conferences, like the one I attended while working on this article, to advertise, interest potential readers, and bring the author to the readership. [10]

4.1 Talking about "talking about praxis"

Val GILLIES (ADA) and Paul ten HAVE (DCA) meet Michael, the author of this text, Pierre BOURDIEU, and Paul RICOEUR.

Val:

My study is based on a series of semi-structured interviews conducted in the respondents' own homes. The aim of my analysis was to understand the ways in which respondents construct the activity of cigarette smoking. I achieved this by identifying the discursive meanings attached to smoking behavior and identifying the discourses that informed the accounts of cigarette smoking ... I argue that the discourses and discursive constructions that have been explored in my analysis shape how these women behave and experience the world. (GILLIES, ADA, p.69, 80)

Michael:

But aren't you conflating what people say about smoking in your interview situation with their smoking in everyday life? Aren't these two very different activities, with different motivations?

Paul:

This is why, in CA tradition, I attempt to explicate the inherent theories-in-use of members' practices as lived orders, rather than trying to order the world externally by applying a set of traditionally available concepts, or invented variations thereof. (Paul ten HAVE, CA, p.32)

Pierre:

The most insidious trap resides, without doubt, in the fact that agents take recourse voluntarily in the ambiguous language of the rule, of grammar, of moral or of law, to explicate a social practice that follows very different principles. (BOURDIEU, 1980, p.174)

Paul:

So the verbal accounts participants might produce regarding their own conduct are rejected also, at least as primary data on the interactions accounted for. This is because participants may not know afterwards what they have been doing and furthermore tend to justify their behaviors in order to account for what they deem to be community-specific rational ways. (Paul ten HAVE, DCA, p.33)

Michael:

What Val GILLIES and other discourse analysts in ADA and CT do is take the outcomes of a secondary activity system, the interview, as a prima-facie evidence for the (subjective) experience in a primary activity system.

Ken:

You know that I am not yet familiar enough with activity theory to use it as a framework to analyze some situation. How would you articulate the problems you identified in terms of activity theory?

Michael:

Take, for example, the chapter by Val GILLIES on smoking. I view Mary's smoking as the primary activity, Mary and Val as the subjects in the interview activity, and Val as the subject involved in scholarly analysis and writing. Let me sketch the three activity systems. (Figure 3)

Ken:

Val, as I understand it, takes the interviews as reflecting the motivation underlying Mary's smoking.

Michael:

This direct relation is but one of the problems. At the next level, Val makes the claim that the discourses and discursive constructions that she explored in her analysis shape how these women behave and experience the world. That is, she links the outcomes of her own activity directly to the activity of smoking by someone in a different activity system.

Ken:

Do I hear you critique the absence of mediation?

Michael:

Well, wouldn't you assume that the activity of interviewing someone about smoking shapes what is being said about smoking? I see the interview as a situation where people do "interview talk about smoking." Having been a smoker in my distant past, talking about smoking is very different from lighting up while you are taking a coffee with colleagues in the staff room. [11]



Figure 3: Smoking and scholarly analysis of an interview about smoking are two neighboring activity systems, the second taking the outcome of the first as its object. [12]

Ken:

So you have articulated a reason for two of the three question marks in Figure 3. Do you want to say that there is also a tenuous relationship between Val's chapter and Mary's identity, including the identity as a smoker?

Michael:

I see what RICOEUR (1990) calls ipse-identity, the Self as distinct from the material body, which is idem-identity, realized in the relationships of all entities and mediated relations that make a person's lifeworld. These two aspects of identity stand in a dialectical relation, each having the other as a prerequisite, but also being very different thereby leading to tensions. What Val does not address is the relation between her text and smoking as an aspect of Mary's lived experience in her world.

Ken:

So there is an under-theorized distance between GILLIES' chapter and the phenomenon that she writes about?

Michael:

Not only GILLIES' chapters, but the chapters of ADA and CT more generally. Furthermore, I can't even reproduce the connection between some of the data authors provide and their own texts. For example, Barbara DELAFIELD presents an excerpt from a classroom interaction, which she subsequently analyzes. I juxtapose these two pieces of text: [13]

 

Sequence 3: This could be the story

Jill: Where wherever the girl found the button she could have took it home and looked after it and maybe her mum gave her the money to go and buy the teddy bear and er took it home and could have found the button again wherever it was and sew it back on and sew it on the teddy.

T: It could possibly have happened go on Simon what did you want to say to that.

When Jill, sequence 3, attempts to enter the discussion using a 'story telling' discourse, the teacher's response, 'it could possibly have happened', is more dismissive, neither offering promise of later discussion, as in 2, nor acknowledging its use to the group, as in 4. ... children's attempts to enter the discussion were repressed ... The offering at 3, however, a 'story telling' discourse, would not be seen as appropriate to this process, and can therefore be dismissed without encouragement.

DELAFIELD, CT, p.56, 58 [14]

Ken:

Would you suggest that DELAFIELD should have used CA, as Paul ten HAVE describes it, to bring out what, if anything was dismissive in the interaction?

Michael:

Yes, I think that it is an aspect of reflexive phenomenological hermeneutic analysis to question one's concepts ... BOURDIEU (1992) writes that the pre-constructed resides everywhere. Showing how social structure emerges from talk-in-interaction is a bottom up approach to social analysis. Rather than accepting "power" and "dismissive attitude" as a priori (explanatory) concepts, the conversation analyst has to articulate these as achievements of interaction.

Ken:

By this argument, your analysis begins to turn on yourself, because you have not theorized the relationship between your own analysis and the texts in ADA and CT.

Michael:

I am doing this in the following diagram, which I had already prepared to be able to deal with this criticism. (Figure 4) My own text becomes an elaboration of that by Val GILLIES and the other contributors to ADA and CT.

Ken:

The that your text returns to the tools is probably an indication that the text returns as a resource into the community?

Michael:

Yes. It can potentially move further and bring about changes in other entities of the activity system (e.g., ENGESTRÖM, 1996). The under-theorized nature of the text also comes out in the difference between citing another author and citing a research participant. The former is treated as being aligned with the author. But using texts from interview transcripts is treated as "giving voice to" research participant—for example, in the CT chapter by David RUDD. [15]



Figure 4: In the scholarly community, both Val GILLIES' chapter and Michael's review article constitute texts in the "archive" (DERRIDA, 1995), the latter augmenting the former. [16]

Michael:

The authors in ADA, and particularly in CT do not distinguish between texts—everything is text including film, 19th-century garden plans (For a different look and analysis at gardens click here), television, and bodies ... So I see problems in going from the world of lived experience to text and returning from text to the lived world. In this way, it makes sense that discursive constructions can be said to have repercussions and effects in the everyday world of experience.

Val:

I suggested that these discursive constructions work to constrain as well as facilitate certain behaviors and actions, and as such the use of discourse is seen not only as accounting for cigarette smoking but as actively maintaining this behavior in the future. (GILLIES, APA, p.68)

Michael:

I tend to disagree, for the relation between text and lived experience is rendered unproblematic. I think Paul does a nice job in articulating the difference between living speech and written text ...

Paul:

In living speech, the ideal sense of what is said turns toward the real reference, toward that "about which" we speak. At the limit, this real reference tends to merge with an ostensive designation where speech rejoins the gesture of pointing. Sense fades into reference and the latter into the act of showing. (RICOEUR, 1991, p.108)

Michael:

But writing changes everything.

Paul:

Such is the upheaval that affects discourse itself, when the movement of reference toward the act of showing is intercepted by the text. Words cease to efface themselves in front of things; written words become words for themselves. (RICOEUR, 1991, p.109)

Ken:

I think it is time for you to move on and deal with the problematic notion of meaning, or perhaps, the problematic ways in which "meaning" is used in the two books on discourse analysis. [17]

4.2 The meaning of "meaning"

Michael:

Meaning is a very problematic concept, and throughout the two books on discourse analysis. In a way, there are different meanings to "meaning," or, as WITTGENSTEIN (1958/94) would have said, different ways in which the term is deployed in the ongoing language game. One problem with the notion of meaning in the ADA and CT chapters is that the analyses are not appropriately situated in the historically contingent nature of the hermeneutic activity. The authors generally do not sufficiently (or at all) acknowledge that the interpretive horizon of the "reader" very much is one moment in the dialectical text-reader unit.

Ken:

Why don't you let the authors duke it out with some of your role models?

Tom PHILLIPS (CT) and Ian PARKER (CT) meet Jacques DERRIDA, Paul RICOEUR, Eric LIVINGSTON, and Michael, the author of this text.

Tom:

I think I can recover the meaning intended by the writer of the letters that I analyze. To approach these letters, I suggest that they be read rather than analyzed, where the meanings, communications and pragmatics are sought in ways similar to how the writer intended. (PHILLIPS, CT, p.30)

Michael:

I disagree that you can read these letters in the way the author intended for two reasons. First, Jacques (DERRIDA, 1988) told us quite clearly that a text never articulates the author's intention; rather, the reader always cosigns the text. Second, texts can never be read in their original ways. MERLEAU-PONTY (1945) used a diagram first introduced by HUSSERL to show how the reading of an text changes as we move away from its moment of production ...

Jacques:

... because the first impression is scriptural or typographic: that of an inscription which leaves a mark at the surface or in the thickness of a substrate. (DERRIDA, 1995, p.26)

Michael:

So when you talk about first impression, you already indicate something that comes thereafter. It is something like the original, the archived text. Interpretation augments the archive and creates new relations between texts.

Jacques:

By incorporating the knowledge deployed in reference to it, the archive augments itself, engrosses itself, it gains in auctoritas. But in the same stroke it loses the absolute and meta-textual authority it might claim to have. One will never be able to objectivize it with no remainder. (DERRIDA, 1995, p.68)

Michael:

When you say that the archive engrosses itself, you really imply that semiosis is unlimited in the way ECO (1984) wrote it?

Jacques:

Yes, the archivist produces more archive, and that is why the archive is never closed. It opens out to the future. (DERRIDA, 1995, p.68)

Ken:

Jacques is telling you that your own text, the one that you have made me part of, is but one possible reading of the three books, themselves being some sort of first impression, an archive, which you augment. This is the meaning of the arrow that takes your, this article back into the activity system of academic scholarship (Figure 4).

Michael:

If we push this a little further, my reading of this archive (CT, ADA, CA) does not reveal some transcendent meaning but constitutes a project of understanding that involves me as much as it involves the text.

Ken:

But, as your friend Eric pointed out, your reading also reveals something about our culture, it is a cultural practice revealed in your reading—and this text that you are in the process of writing.

Michael:

When you said 'friend', I thought you meant to refer to Malcolm ASHMORE (1989), the author of The Reflexive Thesis, who has allowed me to learn a lot about reflexivity and whom I have impersonated a number of times in the past. But let me get back into this other world.

Ian:

I think I did say that we are not in control of texts. One of the important implications of structuralist and post-structuralist accounts of language is that we are not entirely in control of meaning. Words and phrases have meanings that are organized into systems and institutions, what Foucault called 'discursive practices' that position us in relations of power. (PARKER, CT, p.6)

Michael:

But we are never in control of what we say or write. In the utterance we speak or the sentence we write there is a dialectic tension: it is both ours and not ours. Or, as BAKHTIN (1981) said, we use language, which is not ours, for our own intentions. "Words," he said, "do not exist inside or outside of individual consciousness; language lies 'on the borderline between oneself and the other' and 'word in language is half someone else's'" (p.293). There is then also a dialectic tension between the relations of author-text and reader-text.

Jacques:

I am monolingual. My monolingualism dwells, and I call it my dwelling it feels like one to me, and I remain in it and inhabit it. It inhabits me. The monolingualism in which I draw my very breath is, for me, my element ... Yet it will never be mine, this language, the only one I am thus destined to speak, as long as speech is possible for me in life and in death; you see, never will this language be mine. (DERRIDA, 1998, p.1,2)

Ken:

Michael, you would not have made Ian, Jacques, and yourself say this in this text if it did not have implications for the ways text is interpreted? You probably used this as a set up to make some statements about the way in which CT and ADA construct their worlds. You are making a strong argument against the assumption that an external reading of interviews (text) can get the researcher (reader of the text) into the lifeworlds of the person interviewed.

Michael:

Sorry, Ian, my alter ego began to speak up. Say in the book you edited, the authors seem to assume that meaning is somehow hidden in the text, that there is a sense of a text directly related to issues of power.

Ian:

Yes, here we are concerned with issues of power, and we also want to open up a place for agency, as people struggle to make sense of texts. This is where people push at the limits of what is socially constructed and actively construct something different. (PARKER, CT, p.7)

Michael:

But Eric and Paul see the issues differently.

Paul:

Because what we want to understand is not something hidden behind the text, but something disclosed in front of it. (RICOEUR, 1991, p.165)

Eric:

I think that this "something" is reading. Reading is neither in a text nor in a reader. It consists of social phenomena, known through its achievements which lie between the text and the reader's eye, in the reader's implementation of society's ways of reading, in reading what the text says. (LIVINGSTON, 1995, p.16)

Paul:

So to understand a text is to follow its movement from sense to reference, from what it says to what it talks about ...

Eric:

The work of reading is therefore the work of finding the organization of that work a text describes. (LIVINGSTON, 1995, p.14)

Michael:

So in contrast to Ian and the other authors of CT and ADA, you articulate a phenomenology of reading, a practice. They take texts as objects that have meaning and sense, and therefore power, embedded.

Eric:

As I understand it, reading leaps beyond its textual basis to the thing that is transparently read, and in that leap, in the anonymity of the organized course of reading that is now available, the social character of the phenomenon lies. (LIVINGSTON, 1995, p.16)

Michael:

So language is as much a part of the situation as the material world that embeds us and on which we depend?

Ken:

Michael, I think it is important that you address a fundamental issue that has been latent in these first two conversations but that has to be addressed head on: the body, or really the absence of the body. [18]

4.3 The absence of the body in writing

Michael:

"Thanks for seguing into the new topic," you would say if you were present in body and flesh. As I was reading CT and ADA, my greatest worry concerned the absence of the body. The contributors to the two texts, exemplified by Ian PARKER and Val GILLIES in the following panel, drive discourse between people and their embodied experiences. There were texts used by the authors to make inferences about life and lived experiences. In the books on discourse analysis, the people who figure in the texts always appear to be at a remove from themselves, at least one level away from being in the world. [19]

 

The book illustrates ways in which discourse may be studied wherever there is meaning, and so it also includes an accessible introduction to the principles of discourse research across many types of texts. (PARKER, CT, p.1)

I analyze the multiple meanings and significance working-class women attach to the practice of cigarette smoking. (GILLIES, ADA, p.69) [20]

David:

I disagree. In fact I did bring the body back into the text: As a dissected frog refuses to jump and a butterfly collection no longer flits around a warm summer garden, so the body as object, image or text (in and of itself) is no more capable of explaining the lived experience of the human body than a corpse in the library with a lead pipe beside its head. (NIGHTINGALE, CT, p.170)

Michael:

This, however, does not overcome the distance language produces. Biography and experience, testimony ("Zeugnis") and presentation, can never be represented and later recovered in any form of re-presentation. (MÜLLER, 1972) (For an articulation of the problem, click here to go to my gardening example.)

Paul:

In living speech, the instance of discourse has the character of a fleeting event. The event appears and disappears. This is why there is a problem of fixation, of inscription. What we want to fix is what disappears ... If it is not the speech event, it is speech itself insofar as it is said. (RICOEUR, 1991, p.146)

Michael:

So the body plays an important role in who we are, how we understand ourselves, and ...

Pierre:

In a HEIDEGGERian word play, one could say that disposition is exposition. Because the body is exposed (to different degrees)—put into play, into danger in the world, faced with the risk of emotion, hurt, and sufferance, sometimes even death, therefore obliged to take the world serious—it can acquire dispositions that themselves are openings onto the world, that is, to the structures themselves of the social world of which they are embodied form. (BOURDIEU, 1997, p.168)

Michael:

The problem with Ian and Val's statements is that in much of our life, we do not attach meanings. I used to smoke. But I cannot remember having attached meaning to smoking. I just smoked. I began because my partner at the time did so. I was in my 20s and had no need to show off. Perhaps I felt like smoking without feeling this feeling in any conscious way. It is similar to the way I garden. There is no meaning to the gardening other than I garden. I garden because I garden because I garden ... I do not attach meaning. Being-in-the-world, praxis, is the ground of understanding without intervening discourse.

Paul:

I agree. This understanding testifies to our being as belonging to a being that precedes all objectifying, all opposition between an object and a subject. (RICOEUR, 1991, p.143)

Michael:

So everyday understanding is not a reflexive "understanding" but more an absorbed coping. We do not live our lives distanced from ourselves. We do not construct or attach meanings but life is immediately imbued with sense from the very beginning? We are our bodies and our lifeworlds.

Ken:

Can you provide us with an example of the distance that you are talking about?

Michael:

I don't really want to interrupt the conversation that I am having with Paul and Pierre, but you canclick here for the sketch of such an analysis.

Ken:

(Coming back from the link) I see, you wrote an analysis of an analysis, where your analysis turns the earlier analysis against itself.

Michael:

Sorry Pierre, I got interrupted by my alter ego. I was saying that we are our bodies and lifeworlds.

Pierre:

And I wanted to say that this is because world encompasses me (me comprend) but I comprehend it (je le comprends) precisely because it comprises me. It is because the world has produced me, because it has produced the categories of thought that I apply to it that it appears to me as self-evident. Habitus is what you have to posit to account for the fact that, without being rational, social agents are reasonable ... (BOURDIEU, 1992, pp.128, 129)

Michael:

The problem that I have, then, is that ADA and CT insert discourse between people, their bodies, and their experience. If we experience the world prima facie, then we have lived experiences that are not mediated by discourse. There are many things I do without discursively articulating it. Listening to Arvo PÄRT's Kanon Pokajanen soothes me; but I realize its soothing nature only when I reflect upon it not when I am absorbed in listening. I appreciate the view of islands and mountains from my kitchen window; but I realize "appreciation" only when I allow discourse to enter absorbed viewing. Through my hands, I "know" the right amount of liquid and flower in the dough; but I become aware of this as "knowing" only when I am trying to explain to others my experience of baking and preparing the dough. Through the body, I experience a rush while riding my road bike through the hills, but I become aware of this as rush while I am writing these words.

Ken:

I see you have come to an area that has been a focus of your research for quite some time—the embodied and distributed nature of knowing.

Michael:

Well, yes. In fact, the embodied nature of knowing is also the topic of a book that I would like to start sometime soon during my upcoming sabbatical.

Ken:

I wonder how you will finish this review article. Do you have any definitive conclusions?

Michael:

Well, in the more traditional review texts, I said something about whether or not I would use these texts in my own classes. You can get to these conclusions directly by following these links:ADA-Conclusion, CT-Conclusion, or DCA-Conclusion.

Ken:

(Coming back from the link) Yes, but what how are you going to end this text?

Michael:

By writing, "THE END." [21]

Supplement I: Ian Parker and the Bolton Discourse Network (1999). Critical Textwork

1.

This book, introduced by Ian PARKER, brings together 16 chapters grouped into four parts identified by the nature of texts analyzed: Spoken and written texts (interviews, letters, fiction, and lessons); visual texts (comics, advertising, television, and film); physical texts (cities, organizations, gardens, and sign language); and subjectivity in research (bodies, ethnography, silence, and action). Each of the rather brief chapters (10-15 pages) can be said to have followed a very strict format of introduction/exposé, discussion of the text ("Text"), a plate with the text to be analyzed, an analysis ("reading"), as well as "disadvantages" and "advantages" of the approach. [1]

2.

The authors begin their chapters with an untitled section, where they present a brief and far from comprehensive review of the methodological literature on their chosen topic (meaning in groups, romance, absence of children's view on literature, etc.) and methodology of research and analysis (discourse analysis, phenomenology, activity theory, etc.). Subsequently, the authors use a framed text box to present their data, and a description of this data in a section titled "text." They analyze their data in the sections "reading," and then describe, in the final two sections, the shortcomings and strengths of the chosen theory or method. Soon after beginning the book, the line "resté sur ma faim" (left hanging) surged and occupied me, as if asserting itself, the French much better expressing the difference between the great anticipation ("hunger") with which I had started this book and what I experienced while reading it. The shortness of the chapters and the rigidity of the representation left underdeveloped many of the ideas that I thought needed to be addressed, particularly at this point in the history of discourse analysis, that is, more than a decade after Opening Pandora's Box (GILBERT & MULKAY, 1984) or the ground-breaking work Discourse and Social Psychology (POTTER & WETHERELL, 1987), or Discursive Psychology (EDWARDS & POTTER, 1992) all of which I had tremendously enjoyed and used in the past. [2]

The rigid format generates interesting tensions, for it forces authors to present in textual form what might otherwise be difficult to represent in textual form. In other words, being forced to present their data in textual form, the authors are forced to generate data that turn everything into text—bodies, lived experience, film, or silence. It might have served the authors and editor well to make a crucial distinction between data and data sources. Data sources may take all sorts of form, for example, the audio recording of an interview or a telephone call, the lived (unreduced) experience of walking through a 19th-century Victorian garden, or the visits to a historical site and Granada Studios in Manchester. From these data sources, the author constructs the data that are subsequently analyzed. The contributors to Critical Textwork (CT) would have definitely benefited from an explicit discussion of the transformations involved in going from the phenomenological dimension of an event to the ultimately published chapter. (Pertaining to conversation analysis, ASHMORE and REED [2000] have conducted such an analysis.) [3]

That is, the authors do not explicitly discuss that what the reader gets to see as data has already gone through at least one level of filters and analysis. This is an important step to make salient, for the reader can no longer reproduce the same analysis that was done by the author. As my own research among high school physics students showed, just what the observer sees when looking at a demonstration may differ among spectators (ROTH, MCROBBIE, LUCAS, & BOUTONNÉ, 1997). Thus, what the students described as having occurred after watching a teacher, sitting on a rotating stool and spinning a bicycle wheel differed—some said that the teacher moved; others suggested that he didn't move. Based on these observations, they subsequently used a variety of theoretical models to explain why the teacher should have (not) moved. Because their data were different, it is not surprising that they used different theoretical frameworks in order to produce consistent readings. [4]

Thus, when the chapters move to different forms of "text," such as bodies, cities, films, television, or gardens (see my version of it in the insert), the number of problems increases. There is a curious absence in the text of the things being talked about. This absence begins with PEARCE's chapter concerned with advertising, but the data of which it is a description of a poster rather than a copy or an iconic depiction of the poster. Throughout reading his analysis, I wanted to see the poster in order to check the primary reading, which had produced descriptions such as "unusually thin," "she looks somewhat expressionless at the audience," or "seemingly untidy but paradoxically regular." (In several cases, the "data" actually contain analytic commentaries [e.g., CT, p. 83, 120].) While reading, I annotated (in the margins) RUSSELL's analysis also with the comment "same problem as before ... lack of opportunity for the reader to disagree with the analysis." I thought readers might enjoy a discussion of the difference, differance, differal, of (phenomenologically) analyzing primary, lived experience and analyzing secondary, tertiary, or, for that matter nth-order texts. [5]

My Garden: the gap between experience and discourse

The villa's façade was framed in a picturesque manner by a collection of evergreen trees and shrubs. These were testament to the healthy position of the house, for such shrubs only flourish in well drained, dry places. (FORD, CT, p. 146)

27 Good Titles For A Rhetorical Analysis Essay About Politics

A rhetorical analysis paper is typical and much different from common expository or narrative write-up. Eminent scholars think that rhetorical analysis papers analyze the different strategies adopted by the authors to write the novels, articles, and stories. Therefore, instead of explaining the steps of what the authors actually write in the content, describe the host of strategies and ways taken by the authors to jot down the content. You have to detect various tools which the author uses to provide his messages to the audience. The author uses different types of figures of speech like similes, metaphors, hyperbole and monologues for supplying inner thoughts to the audience. You need to break the speech or dialogue of the author into small components and analyze the ways of message delivery to reach the goal. You should explain the total effect of all components to influence the audience to a great extent

Follow SOAP Format to Write Rhetorical Analysis Essays with Good Titles

Rhetorical analysis essays are formatted in SOAP format (Speaker, Occasion, Audience and Purpose). However, there is another conventional format to reset the rhetorical analysis content perfectly. The audience -message -the speaker/writer is the traditional format to organize the rhetorical analysis paper. A writer needs to identify the process of the delivery of messages of the speaker/writer to the audience. When you write rhetorical analysis papers in politics, you need to design good titles to attract your readers. Online sites provide the top 27 good titles to illustrate rhetorical analysis content.

27 Unique Rhetorical Titles/Speeches

  • Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Speech
  • Martin Luthar's dream speech
  • Nelson Mandela's Historical speech
  • Wintson Churchill's Dramatic beaches speech
  • Frederick Douglass' Fourth July speech in Rochester
  • John Kenedy's fiery speech on adventurous journey to Moon
  • President Ronald Reagan's D-Day Speech
  • George Washington's Resignation Speech
  • Theodore Roosevelt's address to man to highlight economic condition of people
  • President Ronald Reagan's speech in Washington just after the explosion of Challenger in fire of ball
  • William Faulkner's historic Nobel peace prize acceptance speech
  • Theodore Roosevelt in Buffalo on duties of American netizens
  • John F. Kennedy's inaugural address to nation
  • Historical speech of Alexander the Great after overpowering Porus
  • William Wilberforce's abolition speech in House of Commons
  • General Douglas MacArthur's 1962 Speech for nation
  • Winston Churchill's 18th June Speech during Battle of France
  • Funeral oration speech by Pericles in Athens in 431 BC
  • Patrick Henry in Richmond's rhetoric speech in Virginia 1775 for demanding freedom from slavery
  • Theodore Roosevelt's dramatic speech for citizenship in republican countries
  • The Gettysburg Address to nation
  • Socrates revolutionary speech at Athens
  • Susan B Anthony's speech to demand equal status of women to casting votes
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower's speech about chance for peace
  • Hitler's proclamation speech to launch second world war
  • King Edward VIII's historic speech on his abdication
  • Barack Obama's speech regarding Gulf war

Free speeches and dialogue of political big brothers are preserved in the form of digitized documents and e-books. To have more world famous and remarkable rhetorical speeches given by political leaders and orators, students must track free online sites on Google to download e-books for reviewing.

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