chapter  26
10 Pages

Discourse Analysis

WithKevin C. Dunn, Iver B. Neumann

Metaphorical analysis interrogates the ways in which metaphors structure possibilities for human reasoning and action. One textual mechanism employed within discourse analysis is the interrogation of presuppositions, the background knowledge that is taken as given. Discourses, through the use of language, construct understandings about the existence of subjects, objects and the relationships between them. A discourse usually contains a dominating representation of reality and one or more alternative representations. Discourse analysis therefore is particularly well suited for studying hegemony, that is, situations where power is maintained by aid of culture and challenged only to a limited degree. In mapping discourses, one should show the affinities and differences between representations in order to demonstrate whether they belong to the same discourse. In addition to analyzing the stability of given representations, it is also important to identify their relative positions within a discourse.