• Alif Fakkar posted an update 2 months, 2 weeks ago

    Discourse Analysis Journal Review #7

    Name: Discourse Analysis: Strength and Shortcomings

    Author: Senem Aydın-Düzgit, Bahar Rumelili

    Source: All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy & Peace. Jul2019, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p285-305. 21p.

    This article is written by two Turkish IR Scholars with personal experience in using discourse analysis in their researches. It is intended to guide students of Turkish IR in the use of this method by writing down their personal reflection on its strength and shortcomings.

    Their experience in discourse analysis comes in the second section of the article. Bahar Rumelili was drawn to the study of identity in international relations during her 8 year PhD studies (1996-2002) at the University of Minnesota. Her use of discourse analysis came during the development of her dissertation, when the relationship between EU and Turkey was at their lowest. She built on Iver Neumann’s work on Self and Other in international relations and framed the EU/Turkey relations as a case of Self/Other relations. She also drew on other studies employing discourse analysis, of which there isn’t much at the time, such as Roxanne Doty’s Imperial Encounters and Karen Litfin’s Ozone Discourses. In time, she developed a typology of Self/Other relations that has been used by many researches to analyze identity relations in other contexts.

    Aydin- Düzgit mainly used critical discourse analysis in her works and was first introduced to the method when she decided to identify and analyze the EU’s identity representation in relation to Turkey for her PhD dissertation. While she was first intimidated by the linguistics-based analytical toolkit from CDA due to her lack of training in linguistics, her PhD supervisor who was an expert on CDA introduced her to a vast array of empirical studies which employed CDA in various fields such as political science, history, cultural studies, etc.

    While both writers was pleased in their choice in using discourse analysis for their research, especially compared to other methods they have during that time, they also wrote about the issues in discourse analysis such as sampling. Where the text selected for analysis must be in line with the goal of the research, which can be very broad. They also brought the issue of objectivity, a common criticism in discourse analytic approaches. Where these approaches’ was often accused for not being objective and instead engages in political argumentation rather than academic research. The defense for this was that the theoretical approaches usually deny the possibility of full objectivity from the start, and that the critical approaches such as CDA are usually employed to reveal social issues such as oppression and exclusion instead of being objective.