Discursive psychology

Sally Wiggins, Jonathan Potter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Discursive psychology begins with psychology as it faces people living their lives. It studies how psychology is constructed, understood and displayed as people interact in everyday and more institutional situations. How does a speaker show that they are not prejudiced, while developing a damning version of an entire ethnic group? How are actions coordinated in a counselling session to manage the blame of the different parties for the relationship breakdown? How is upset displayed, understood and receipted in a call to a child protection helpline? Questions of this kind require us to understand the kinds of things that are 'psychological' for people as they act and interact in particular settings - families, workplaces and schools. And this in turn encourages us to respecify the very object psychology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSage Handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • discursive psychology
  • families
  • workplaces
  • qualitative research

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