Discourse Analysis In Nursing

Afza.Malik GDA

Nursing Research and Discourse Analysis

Discourse Analysis In Nursing

What Is Discourse Analysis,Discourse Term In Grammar and Syntax,"A Discourse" And "Discourse"Historical Overview,In The View of Psychology,Anthropological Approach,Conversation Perspective,Discourse Analysis And Other Perspectives,Discourse Analysis As Process ,Conclusion About Discourse Analysis.

What Is Discourse Analysis

    Discourse analysis is a method that has multiple meanings referring to a wide range of analytical procedures. Such methodological diversity has resulted not only from various philosophical traditions that treat discourse differently but also from conceptualization of discourse analysis by diverse disciplines that emphasize different aspects or meanings of discourse. 

    Discourse is viewed as an appropriate subject matter for research by various disciplines, including linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, psychology, information science, literary criticism, journalism, and practice disciplines such as nursing and medicine.

Discourse Term In Grammar and Syntax

    Although the term discourse in relation to discourse analysis is defined and used differently in linguistics and in other disciplines, discourse refers to language-in-use as connected speech or written texts produced in social contexts, rather than in terms of single sentences considered in terms of grammar and syntax. 

    Discourse analysis deals with texts of conversations and written texts produced among individuals, as well as those produced within larger social, historical environments such as journal articles or newspaper accounts, that are not directed to specific individuals as their audiences. 

    Discourse as the object of analysis is usually obtained from natural occurrences rather than from constructions designed solely for the purpose of analysis as either exemplary or ideal cases.

"A Discourse" And "Discourse"

    The term discourse in discourse analysis is commonly accepted as a mass noun with the above definition. However, the use of "a discourse" or "discourses" can be often found in discourse analysis with the post-structural, critical perspective. 

    But the current literature abounds with both usages of the term (ie, "discourse" and "a discourse"), not necessarily used consistently within one specific perspective.

Historical Overview

    Discourse analysis has its historic origin in the ancient Greek differentiation of grammar and rhetoric in language use (van Dijk, TA, 1985). 

    Although the study of rhetoric was differentiated from the study of grammar in linguistics throughout the centuries, it was not until the middle of the 20th century that a more formal approach to discourse analysis gained its appeal in linguistics. 

    Hence, "pragmatics" in linguistics emphasizing discourse analysis has been developed separately, in contrast to the study of language proper that focuses on formal grammatical, syntactical, and morphological structures. 

    Following this modern revisit in linguistics, many other disciplines have begun to take discourse as the proper subject of their scientific study. Although there are cross disciplinary discussions of the methodology and application of various approaches of discourse analysis, there is no unified, integrated approach to discourse analysis. 

The literature across the disciplines suggests that there are at least three general perspectives within discourse analysis: 

(a) the linguistic perspective.

(b) the conversation perspective.

(c) the ideology/critical perspective. The linguistic perspective takes discourse as text produced by language use in either speech or writing. 

    Thus, discourse text for this perspective can be from interpersonal conversations, written texts, or speech exposures such as testimonies. This perspective encompasses the formal pragmatics in linguistics, sociolinguistics in sociology, and ethnography of communication and ethnopoetics in anthropology. 

    Hence, within this perspective there are several different methodological approaches to discourse analysis, even within each orientation there are variations in the ways discourse texts are analyzed, depending on the frame within which various contextual features are brought into the analytic schema.

Philosophical View

    The formal pragmatics that had it beginning with ZS Harris (1952) has been recast by speech act theory in the philosophical tradition of Searle (Searle, Kiefer, & Bicrwisch , 1980) and J.L Austin (1975) and also by poetics of the literary studies. 

    Discourse analysis from the formal pragmatics orientation addresses such aspects as speech competence with respect to discursive rules, text grammar, discourse comprehension, or discourse organization.

In The View of Psychology

    Sociolinguistics as a branch of sociology is a study of language use within the functional paradigm of sociology, which views social life in relation to larger social structures such as gender, status, social class, role, and ethnicity. 

    Sociolinguists are concerned with ways in which people use different linguistic forms according to macrostructural and contextual differences.

Anthropological Approach

    Anthropological approaches in the linguistic perspective are theopoetic and ethnography of communication. Theopoetic is the study of oral discourse as speech art in the tradition of literary analysis and is concerned with the structures of verbal aesthetics. The focus is on the poetic patterning of discourse within different cultures. 

    On the other hand, ethnography of communication, advanced by Hymels (1964), is concerned with general language use as practiced in specific sociocultural context. 

    Ethnography of communication, done either from the cross cultural, comparative orientation or from the single-culture orientation, is based on the assumption that dis course should be studied, positing it within the dynamics and patterns of discourse events in a given cultural context. 

    In all these branches of the linguistic perspective, the emphasis is on the linguistic forms as used in social life.

Conversation Perspective

    The conversation perspective takes discourse as conversational texts; it has been developed from the ethnomethodological tradition of Garfinkel in sociology. In this tradition, Sacks (1967) and others pioneered conversation analysis as a form of discourse analysis. 

    Conversation analysis views discourse as a stream of sequentially organized discursive components that are designed jointly by participants of conversation applying a set of social and conversational rules. 

    Conversation analysis studies rules that participants in conversation use to carry on and accomplish interaction, such as topic organization, turn taking, and use of response tokens. 

    In recent years, however, conversation analysis has extended to include behavioral aspects of interaction (eg, gesture, gaze, and laughter) as its analytical components. The use of transcripts and transcription symbols has been extensively developed in this perspective.

Discourse Analysis And Other Perspectives

    Discourse analysis in the ideological/critical perspective differs from that in the other two perspectives in its emphasis on the nature of discourse as historically constructed and constrained idea and knowledge. 

    Discourse in this perspective is not considered in terms of linguistic form or interactive patterning. Rather, discourse is not only what is said or written but also the discursive conditions that produce imagined forms of life in given local, historical, and sociocultural junctures and thus is embedded in and with power and ideology.

Discourse Analysis As Process 

    This perspective was represented by post-structuralists such as Foucault (1972) and Lyotard (1984), who viewed discourse analysis not simply as an analytical process but as a critique and intervention against marginalization and repression of other forms of knowledge and discursive possibilities. 

    Foucault treats discourses in relation to rules tied to specific historical conditions of usage and as power relations. Hence, discourse analysis. in this perspective is oriented to revealing sociohistorical functions and power relations embedded in statements of talks and texts as well as what Foucault called "systemic archives," of which statements form a part.

Conclusion About Discourse Analysis

    The preceding discussion indicates that discourse analysis is not a unified approach to studying language use. Although three perspectives are identified for this method, there is a blurring of differences among the perspectives. The method, however, remains multi-discipline-oriented. 

    In nursing, discourse analysis is being applied with all three perspectives. Discourse analysis with the linguistic perspective has been applied to study discourse comprehension in client nurse interactions or discourse organization of nurses' notes and to analyze various discourses on such topics as abortion, individualized care, and professionalism in the nursing literature related to macrostructural or contextual factors.

    On the other hand, discourse analysis with the conversation perspective has been applied to the study of turn taking and topic organization in client-nurse interactions and to examine the dynamics of home visiting. 

    Within the ideological/critical perspective, discourse analysis has been applied to examine nursing documentation as a form of power relations, to analyze discourse of nursing diagnosis in the nursing literature, and to explicate the language of sexuality, menopause, and abortion as power relations and ideology. 

    Written texts produced by clients and nurses and client-nurse conversations, as well as texts in the public domain, are the rich sources for applying discourse analysis to study the language-in-use from these perspectives.

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