Discourse analysis matters: bridging frameworks

James Gee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A great deal of discourse analysis is deeply imbued with Western perspectives on language, communication, politics, and society. One solution to this problem is to expose these perspectives and develop, across different cultures, culturally distinct forms of discourse analysis. In this paper I want to claim that it is also possible to think of discourse analysis in a way that crosses cultures and, in a sense, stays ‘neutral’ politically. The approach I sketch out is tentative and exploratory. It is based on an old thesis in philosophy called the Quine–Duhem thesis, a thesis that states a distinctive view of how science works. I will argue that the thesis can illuminate the nature of critical debates not only in science, but in society more generally. I will add to the Quine–Duhem thesis insights from Karl Popper and the Iranian philosopher Abdolkarim Soroush. On this basis I develop a proposal about an approach to discourse analysis that I call Framework Discourse Analysis (FDA). This approach is not meant to replace other approaches, but to speak to the task of how in a world awash with conflict and polarization, conflicting viewpoints can come productively into contact with each other.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-359
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Multicultural Discourses
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Cultural diversity global
  • cultural identity global
  • cultural pluralism global

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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