This introduction to discursive psychology uses discourse analytic terms to examine some of psychology's most fundamental concepts. Taking memory and attribution, central notions in cognitive and social psychology respectively, the book shows the way that their compartmentalization and their failure to theorize adequately about the way language is used in everyday social practices has led to important weaknesses. "Discursive Psychology" reformulates these central issues of language and mind as social practices realized in talk and text. The authors feature detailed discussion of recent political discourse with a particular focus on media disputes involving British Chancellor Nigel Lawson and ex-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; this is supplemented with an exploration of examples from the Watergate tapes, the Iran Contra hearings, media coverage of the Gulf War, as well as informal everyday talk. The book is intended for academics and postgraduate students in cognitive and social psychology, communication studies, linguistics, cultural studies and sociology.
`Edwards and Potter present some fine analyses of people's everyday discursive work of remembering and of the attribution of motives, by which a powerful critique of laboratory studies of memory and attribution is provided... the book offers attractive examples of discourse analysis' - Discourse & Society
`In this study, Edwards and Potter make a systematic attempt to make clear the nature, scope and methods of discursive psychology, the (final?) descendant of the revolution against na[um]ive empiricism and positivist metaphysics of the behaviourist tradition... It is evident from the publication of this and other first-class offerings from the Loughborough "stable" that our hopes for a truly scientific psychology now have some chance of being fulfilled' - Rom Harr[ac]e, British Journal of Psychology
`This book is a persuasive account of the insights that discourse analysis can provide, and the benefits of the discursive approach. It is well written and researched. The discussion of other psychological, sociological and linguistic perspectives, and the discursive analyses of memories and attributions, should provoke the interest of a wide range of social scientists... [It] makes a significant contribution to the promotion of this important approach' - Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology