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Discourse Analysis

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The aim of discourse analysis is to reveal the ontological and epistemological premises which areembedded in language, and which allows a statement to be understood as rational or interpreted asmeaningful. Discourse analysis investigates whether – in statements or texts - it is possible toestablish any regularity in the objects which are discussed; the subjects designated as actors; thecausal relations claimed to exist between objects (explanans) and subjects (explanadum); but alsothe expected outcome of subjects trying to influence objects; the goal of their action; and finally thetime dimension by which these relations are framed. Discourses thus comprise the underlyingconditions for a statement to be interpreted as meaningful and rational. At the same time, discourseanalysis is the study of rationality and how it is expressed in a particular historical context.Discourse analysis is part of the Constructivist (or Social Constructivist) approach within thehumanities and social sciences. It assumes that basic assumptions with regard to being, self and theworld are constructed by individuals living in a historical and cultural context which is producedand reproduced by their speech acts.

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Ove K. Pedersen

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