This introduction to discursive psychology uses discourse analytic terms to examine some of psychology's most fundamental concepts. Taking memory and attribution, central notions in cognitive and social psychology respectively, the book shows the way that their compartmentalization and their failure to theorize adequately about the way language is used in everyday social practices has led to important weaknesses. "Discursive Psychology" reformulates these central issues of language and mind as social practices realized in talk and text. The authors feature detailed discussion of recent political discourse with a particular focus on media disputes involving British Chancellor Nigel Lawson and ex-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; this is supplemented with an exploration of examples from the Watergate tapes, the Iran Contra hearings, media coverage of the Gulf War, as well as informal everyday talk. The book is intended for academics and postgraduate students in cognitive and social psychology, communication studies, linguistics, cultural studies and sociology.
Derek Edwards is Reader in Discursive Psychology in the Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University. He is co-author (with Neil Mercer) of Common Knowledge, (with Jonathan Potter) of Discursive Psychology and (with others) of Ideological Dilemmas. Jonathan Potter is Professor of Discourse Analysis and Dean of the School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences at Loughborough University. He has studied topics such as scientific argumentation, current affairs television, riots, racism, relationship counselling and child protection helplines. His main focus recently has been on the study of helpline interaction, on interaction during family mealtimes, on the conceptualization of cognition in interaction research, and on issues of psychology and institutions. He a world authority on qualitative methods and has written on discourse analysis and discursive psychology, focus groups, the study of psychological issues. Recently has raised questions about the over-reliance of social scientists on open-ended qualitative interviews. He has taught workshops and short courses on analysis in 10 different countries.