The course targets Master’s students in Social Psychology in Master's Programme in Social Research,
as well as COS students.
A minimum requirement for enrolling in the course is that the student has a basic understanding of social constructionism or discourse analysis, for example by having completed SP021 or SP033, or any course that covers discourse analysis. A basic understanding of critical discursive psychology or critical discourse analysis is especially helpful.
Bachelor’s level studies in social research
By the end of the course, students should be able to (1) explain the theoretical foundations and the methodological tools for analysing identities from the perspectives of positioning theory and critical discursive psychology, as well as an interdisciplinary method for analysing social values in identification (2) apply the tools from each of those methodologies in practice textual analyses and interpretations, and (3) choose appropriate methodologies for specific research materials and research questions, (4) conduct empirical analyses of discursive constructions of identity in relation to those materials and research questions.
The timing of the course depends on its content and teacher.
The course consists of teacher, peer and individual learning activities. Learning will be facilitated through readings, interactive lectures, peer group discussions, individual and group analyses, small group presentations, and final individual written papers. These learning activities are, more specifically, as follows:
Students will be required to read key literature before each face-to-face meeting. From the readings the students will learn the basic principles of the methodologies to be discussed and practiced in the upcoming class meetings. These are the topics brought into in the teaching and learning sessions. The instructor will also give a brief demonstration of the methodology in a sample textual analysis.
In each face-to-face meeting, students will be working in groups, discussing the methodologies that are being focused on, and applying the methodologies in practice analyses of texts that will be provided by the instructor. The groups will then present their preliminary discussions, analyses and interpretations to the larger group. We will have larger group discussions of the textual analyses based on these small group presentations.
Lastly, students will write individual final papers, which can be further elaborations of their presentations. In the paper students will explicate their chosen methodology, research topic and the source of the materials to be analysed, conduct detailed analyses and interpretations, and reflect upon and evaluate the suitability of their chosen methodology to their chosen topics and texts. In order to give students ample time, the final paper will be due one month after the final course meeting.
The complete course schedule is as follows:
Session I (6 hours) – Introduction, Positioning theory and identification
Session II (6 hours) – Critical discursive psychology and identification
Session III (6 hours) – Social values in identification
Students will be required to read key literature before each face-to-face meeting.
In the face-to-face meetings, students will conduct individual and group textual analyses using the methods explicated in the readings and lectures, as well as present their interpretations to the larger group.
Students will also be required to write a final paper, which is due one month after the conclusion of the intensive course.
Because of the small number of meetings, students are advised not to miss any of the sessions.
Meeting 1, Monday 6/04/20 – Introduction and Positioning Theory
Benwell, B., & Stokoe, E. (2006). Discourse and identity (Chp. 1). Edinburgh University Press.
Davies, B., & Harré, R. (1990). Positioning: The discursive production of selves. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 20(1), 43–63.
Hollway, W. (2001). Gender difference and the production of subjectivity. In M. Wetherell, S. Taylor, & S. J. Yates (Eds.), Discourse Theory and Practice (pp. 272-283). London: Sage.
Meeting 2, Tuesday 7/04/20 – Critical Discursive Psychology
Reynolds, J., & Wetherell, M. (2003). The discursive climate of singleness: The consequences for women's negotiation of a single identity. Feminism & Psychology, 13(4), 489-510.
Edley, N. (2001). Analysing masculinity: Interpretative repertoires, ideological dilemmas and subject positions. In M. Wetherell, S. Taylor & S. J. Yates (Eds.), Discourse as data: A guide for analysis (pp. 189-228). London: Sage.
Meeting 3, Wednesday 8/04/20 – Social Values in Identification
Menard, R. (2016). Analysing social values in identification; a framework for research on the representation and implementation of values. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 46, 122–142.
Menard, R. (2016). Doing equality and difference: Representation and alignment in Finnish identification. Text & Talk, 36(6), 733-755.
The evaluation of students is based on individual and group exercises, active participation in face-to-face meetings, and the final paper.
The course will be implemented as contact teaching (lecture or practical course or a combination of both).