PNS0217 Methods of Analysis: Narratives and Discourses, 6.0 Credits
Subjects Other Social Science Rural Development
No Level Indicated
Pass / Failed
The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.
- Accepted as a PhD student
- Applicants must have acquired some research data (field work or textual) before the course so that they can analyze it
- Apply with a one page description detailing research interests and interest in the course.
Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to:
- identify different (disciplinary) approaches to analyzing textual data (in particular interviews, policy documents) and to use them in their work;
- distinguish between narrative, thematic and discourse analysis and understand overlapping approaches;
- use the various approaches in the context of analysis questions of rural development and environmental politics.
The course is divided into five blocks and each consists of four days of reading and writing and ends with a seminar. In preparation for each seminar the students are expected to hand in a 1-2 page reflection on the literature and for some of the weeks use a piece of text from their empirical material to analyze.
The aim is not to give an overview of all that has been written on discourse analysis and ALL the ways of doing it but some important themes within the field that would be useful to analyze questions of development and environmental politics.
1. What is discourse analysis?
What is discourse? What are we analyzing. What are the different approaches? How can you use them in your work?
2. Analyzing Policy Discourses and Narratives
We will study how certain topics are discussed, communicated and contextualized. How is policy analyzed in different traditions (the political scienctists as opposed to the anthropologists) and how they could all contribute differently to your thinking? What do the authors we read say about dominant and neglected narrative patterns? How does language justify certain (policy) options and not others.
3. Analyzing environmental discourses
How are narratives and discourses on ’nature’, environments and sustainability constructed? When does nature become/became the environment?
4. The Discursive construction of the (environmental) State:
What is the state? How is the state constructed discursively? What is the postcolonial and environmental state? How is it gendered and racialized?
5. Analyzing Policy and Bureaucracies
How do the authors/literature in this block analyze how local policy-makers and bureaucrats and practitioners shape the meanings of international/national norms and devise strategies to maintain the social order?
6. Identity, Subjectivity and Discourse
In the last theme we analyze the structures through which policy operates and the discourses and agencies through which it is articulated and how these are reconfiguring relationships between individuals and society. Furthermore, how do we ‘see’ powerful ideas/power pervasively filtering through language and practice in everyday life? How do how multiple types of identity influence resource use and practice and relate to conceptions of ethnicity? How do new subjectivities come into being and how are intersubjective spaces created?
Formats and requirements for examination
For a passing grade students will need to participate in the literature seminars and hand in memos for each block. (These could be reflection on the literature and analysis of short texts from their own work that we discuss in relation to the literature).
It is possible for applicants to only join one block for a single credit. It is possible to get an additional 1,5 credits for writing a paper using the approaches during the course and have it peer reviewed by peers in the class at the end of the course.
The course is part of the research school Society and Landscape at the Department of Urban and Rural Development.
Department of Urban and Rural Development