In the last fifty years or so, ‘discourse’ and ‘discourse analysis’ (DA) have firmly established themselves as key notions in many academic disciplines, including linguistics, literary studies, communication studies, and social sciences, to name a few. As a consequence, there currently exist at least 40 ‘tribes and sub-tribes’ of discourse analysis, with new approaches still appearing and older approaches being re-conceptualized. This course aims at, first, providing the students with an accessible introduction to the theoretical underpinnings of discourse analysis, and, second, taking them through a step-by step process of doing discourse analysis. The particular focus of the course is on introducing the students to the analysis of context-specific use of language in written, spoken and multimodal communication. Examples for the course will be drawn from different authentic discourses, such as everyday conversations, media, politics, business and healthcare encounters, with some of the examples coming from the sociocultural context of Hong Kong.
- Introduction to the course. Discourse as a theory: what is ‘discourse’; ‘tribes and sub-tribes’ of discourse analysis.
- Starting Discourse Analysis: data collection; coding and transcribing.
- Discourse as a resource: structural; inferential; contextual and relational discursive resources.
- Discourses around us: analyzing ‘ordinary conversations’ and other common discourses.
- Discourse across disciplinary boundaries: analyzing healthcare and business discourses; politics and law
- To introduce different approaches to the analysis of discourse in a systematic manner and to equip the students with the main theoretical concepts in order to engage them in doing discourse analysis;
- To introduce different discourse types in a systematic manner;
- To enable the students to analytically reflect on prominent discourse features in various discourse types;
- To enable the students to engage in basic discourse analysis of authentic discourse data based on the theoretical and practical knowledge gained in the class
The course is comprised of weekly lectures and tutorials. Arrangement of tutorials will be finalized after the add-drop period when the number of registered students is confirmed.
Assessment for the course is 100% coursework. It is comprised of three parts:
- Mid-term assignment (essay outline, data transcription) (30%)
- Peer-review of final assignment (20 %)
- Final essay based on the analysis of authentic discourse data (spoken, written or multimodal) (50%).
There is no one specific textbook for the course. Relevant readings and references will be provided in class.