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Intergroup Communication and Discursive Psychology

Jonathan Potter

Subject Psychology
Intercultural Communication » Intergroup Communication

Key-Topics discourse

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Relationships and communication between social groups of all kinds is an increasingly pressing topic in a globalized world in which there are conflicts of resources, religions, and ideologies. Discursive psychology's distinct contribution is to try to understand this topic through studying how discourse works in the practical settings in which intergroup issues become live (→  Discursive Psychology ). These might include major public events such as a parliamentary debate on migration and asylum, institutional interaction such as where the police interview a suspect who has been accused of racist violence, and everyday talk, such as conversations about politics and nationality over a family meal. A key point of this tradition of work is that social groups often do not communicate and understand one another directly; instead, social groups become live entities as they are invoked in practical settings through the telling of stories, descriptions, and other constructions in talk and texts. This means that if we are to fully understand conflict and racism we need to understand these discourse processes. That is, we need to describe the building blocks which people draw on to assemble their talk and texts as well as the practices through which the building is done in specific settings. The resources are at their simplest words (“immigrant,” “asylum seeker”), but they can also be broader ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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