Sociology, Critical discourse analysis and discourse theory 7,5 credits


Sociology, Critical discourse analysis and discourse theory 7,5 credits

General data

  • Code: SOA016F
  • Subject/Main field: Sociology
  • Cycle: Third cycle
  • Credits: 7.5
  • Answerable department: Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Approved: 3/20/2019
  • Date of change: 6/8/2023
  • Version valid from: 5/8/2023


The aim of this course is to introduce existing discourse analytical research traditions, with a particular emphasis on theory and method within Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Political Discourse Theory (PDT). The aim is also to provide knowledge about the different methodological approaches and an understanding of the relationship between theory and methods in the field of discourse studies.

Course objectives

After completing this course, the student is expected to:
• Have a good overview over existing discourse analytical research tradition, with a particular emphasis on theory and method within Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Political Discourse Theory (PDT),
• Have developed an ability to independently reason and evaluate these theoretical strands in relation to her or his own research, as well as having acquired knowledge about relevant methodological options.
• Have developed an ability to apply discourse analytical arguments and theoretical concepts on his or her own empirical material.


This course provides an introduction to the two influential discourse analytical research traditions Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Political Discourse Theory (PDT), paying particular attention to how these theories and methods can be applied I to an empirical material. The course also offers insights into contemporary theoretical debates about the relationship between discourse, experience and materiality.

Entry requirements

A person meets the entry requirements for the course if he or she has been admitted to a third-cycle study programme and will be given credit for the course in that study programme.
(Äldre gymnasiebetyg)

Teaching form

This course will be organised in three moduls: (1) Conceptualization of Discourse, (2) Analysing discourse and (3) Political discourse theory. Each model are combining lectures and workshops. These workshops are partially theoretical, and partially research-driven. The course will be delivered in lectures and seminars.

Examination form

Seminar and workshop participation and a final paper demonstrating a conceptual understanding of critical discourse analysis and the application of a discourse analytical approach to an object of the student's choice (ca. 6000 words)

Grading system

Fail (U) or Pass (G)

Course reading

Required literature

  • Author: West, Karen
  • Article title: Articulating Discursive and Materialist Concepts of Practice in the Logics Approach to Critical Policy Analysis
  • Journal: Critical Policy Studies
  • Year/Volume/nr/pages: 2011. 4(5), pp. 414-433
  • Author: Torfing, Jacob
  • Title: "Discourse Theory: Achievements, Arguments and Challenges" in: Torfing & Howarth (red.), Discourse Theory in European Politics: Identity, Policy and Governance
  • Edition: 2004
  • Publisher: Palgrave
  • Author: Tonkiss, Fran
  • Title: "Analysing Discourse" In: Clive Seale (Ed.) Researching Society and Culture
  • Edition: 1998
  • Publisher: Sage
  • Comment: pp. 245-260
  • Author: Janks, Hilary
  • Article title: Critical discourse analysis as a research tool
  • Journal: Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education
  • Year/Volume/nr/pages: 1997. 18(3), pp. 329-342
  • Author: Howarth, David, Stavrakakis, Yannis
  • Title: “Introducing discourse theory and political analysis” in David Howarth, Aletta J. Norval and Yannis Stavrakakis (eds.) Discourse theory and political analysis
  • Edition: 2000
  • Publisher: Manchester: Manchester University Press
  • Comment: pp. 1-23
  • Author: Howarth, David
  • Title: "Hegemony, political subjectivity, and radical democracy" in Simon Critchley and Oliver Marchart (eds.) Laclau: A critical reader
  • Edition: 2012
  • Publisher: London: Routledge
  • Comment: pp. 256-276
  • Author: Gunnarsson Payne, Jenny
  • Article title: The logics of Sisterhood: Intra-feminist debates in Swedish feminist zines
  • Journal: European Journal of Women’s Studies
  • Year/Volume/nr/pages: 2012. 19(2), pp. 187–202
  • Author: Glynos, Jason, Howarth, David, Flitcroft, Ryan, Love, Craig, Roussos, Konstantinos, Vazquez, Jimena
  • Article title: Logics, discourse theory and methods: Advances, challenges and ways forward
  • Journal: Journal of Language and Politics
  • Year/Volume/nr/pages: 2021. 20(1), pp. 62-78
  • Author: Glynos, Jason, Howarth, David
  • Title: Logics of critical explanation in social and political theory
  • Edition: 2007
  • Publisher: London and New York: Routledge
  • Author: Gee, James Paul
  • Title: Introduction to Discourse Analysis
  • Edition: 1999
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Comment: Chapter 2-3
  • Author: Foucault, Michel
  • Title: "Politics and the Study of Discourse" in The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, Graham Burchell, Colin Gordon and Peter Miller (eds.).
  • Edition: 1991
  • Publisher: Chicago: University of Chicago Press
  • Comment: pp. 53–72
  • Author: Foucault, Michel
  • Title: "The Order of Discourse” in Untying the Text: A Poststructuralist Reader, R. Young (ed.), translated by Ian McLeod
  • Edition: 1981
  • Publisher: Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul
  • Comment: pp. 48–78
  • Author: Foucault, Michel
  • Title: The Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language, transl. from the French by A.M. Sheridan Smith
  • Edition: 1982
  • Publisher: New York: Pantheon Books
  • Comment: pp. 3-19 (available as a pdf file on Moodle)
  • Author: Foucault, Michel
  • Title: The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at Collègue de France
  • Edition: 2008
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Comment: Chapter 2 and 3
  • Author: Fairclough, Norman
  • Title: Analysing Discourse: Textual Analysis for Social Research.
  • Edition: 2003
  • Publisher: London & New York: Routledge
  • Comment: Chapters 2, 3, 4
  • Author: Fairclough, Norman
  • Article title: Critical discourse analysis
  • Journal: Marges Linguistiques
  • Year/Volume/nr/pages: 9/2002
  • URL:

The page was updated 9/2/2014