Interrogating discourse: the application of Foucault’s methodological discussion to specific inquiry

Fadyl, JK
Nicholls, DA
McPherson, KM
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Journal Article
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SAGE Publications

Discourse analysis following the work of Michel Foucault has become a valuable methodology in the critical analysis of a broad range of topics relating to health. However, it can be a daunting task, in that there seems to be both a huge number of possible approaches to carrying out this type of project, and an abundance of different, often conflicting, opinions about what counts as ‘Foucauldian’. This article takes the position that methodological design should be informed by ongoing discussion and applied as appropriate to a particular area of inquiry. The discussion given offers an interpretation and application of Foucault’s methodological principles, integrating a reading of Foucault with applications of his work by other authors, showing how this is then applied to interrogate the practice of vocational rehabilitation. It is intended as a contribution to methodological discussion in this area, offering an interpretation of various methodological elements described by Foucault, alongside specific application of these aspects.

Discourse analysis; Isues in research methodology; Post-structuralism/post-modernism; Research methodology
Health: an interdisciplinary journal for the social study of health, illness and medicine, vol.17(5), pp.491 - 507
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