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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Processes of Critical Discourse Analysis.: A Research Tool for Narrative Inquiry. A study of white women teachers subjectivities in educational contexts of cultural difference

Jan Connelly.

This paper reports on strategies adopted and adapted from Critical
Discourse Analysis (henceforth CDA). This form of analysis was
applied to a narrative inquiry on six white women responses to
Indigenous school contexts was alert to significant words,
statements, inferences and innuendo and philosophical concepts
drawn from;
i. language that demonstrated the frames of reference out of which
each participant operated her teaching life
ii.power and resistance, the relations between teacher, student and community
iii. truth/knowledge, those discourses and material practices that conveyed what the participant held as truths that in turn formed the knowledges from which they operated.
iv. the self the identity/ies that the teacher projected

A set of deconstruction tools was employed taken from recent
scholarship on CDA (Van Dijk 1997, 1993, 2001, Fairclough 1996,
Wodak 1996). Using an adaptation of these approaches, a process
of micro-analysis was activated. also acknowledges was the need to zoom out and perform macro-analysis where the consideration of
social and cultural formations are believed to further inform

The first two categories are drawn from the linguistic influenced
models of CDA, which draw on the systemic functional linguistics of
Halliday (1985). The third traces the discourses of social formations,
power relations and subjectivities.
(1)Linguistic Signs: lexical and surface structure
(2)Pragmatic Signs
(3)Discourses, Representations, Identities and Intertexuality Flows

Analysis, via the categories and their tools is demonstrated through
extracts of narrative draws out how female white teachers were being
positioned and/or were positioning themselves through their
linguistic choices and their appropriation of particular discourses, representations, identities and intertextuality cues.

acro Level Analysis

This involved considering the analysis of the micro level against the
backdrop of broader contextual elements and knowledge. This is
where a micro-analysis meshes with, and is 'troubled' by considering
it against, and with, broader structures of the research contexts. I
refer here to socio-political and historical factors. Narrative data is used in this presentation to illustrate the meaning making that
emerged from such an exercise. Discussion will be generated
around the problematised analysis processes.


Jan Connelly  (Australia)
Lecturer in Language and Literacy
School of Cultural and Language Studies
Queensland University of Technology

Jan Connelly is a school educator committed to the study of issues related to the social conditions of learning and pedagogy. Her publications span interests in multiliteracies in contexts of difference particularly those of Indigenous education, students who experience poverty and students from non English speaking backgrounds.

  • Critical Discourse Analysis
  • Women Teachers’ Subjectivity
  • Contexts of cultural difference
Person as Subject
  • Fairclough, Norman Van Dyke, Tuen A. Foucault, M.

(60 min Workshop, English)