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Record Type: Review   ID: 199

Feminism and Discourse: Psychological Perspectives

Wilkinson, Sue, & Kitzinger, Celia (Eds.).

 The editors are feminist psychologists at Loughborough University. They put together this collection because it is the first work dealing with a psychological approach to discourse analysis from a feminist viewpoint, or one could say it offers "a psychological perspective in feminist discourse analytic writing" (p. 2). The purpose is to highlight "the value of discourse analysis for the project of feminist psychology" (p. 2). It consists of chapters written specifically for this volume by feminist psychologists who explore "contributions and contradictions of discourse analysis" (p. 2). There are two sections. The first consists of four chapters that are empirical examples of discourse analytic work on key feminist issues of special interest to feminist psychologists, such as sexual harassment and "gendered representations of childhood" (p. 2). They serve as examples of how feminist psychology can be conducted via discourse analysis. The second section is theoretical and consists of three chapters that argue on behalf of discourse analysis and two that are critical of it. Some of the authors also describe different types of discourse analysis and their pros and cons. It should be emphasized, as the editors point out, that discourse analysis is not a single method. It is a language-based approach to research that can be linguistic, conversation analysis, ethnomethodology, with many variants: feminist, semiotic, psychoanalytic, and postmodern. This work serves as a window opening onto British feminist psychology and the pros and cons of discourse analysis, both in practice and in theory. It is not easy reading, but it is engrossing. And discourse analysis is a method that lends itself to the analysis of narratives such as EHE accounts and autobiographies.
Publisher Information:Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1995. 193p. Chap. bibl; Ind: 187-193
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