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The University of Southampton
Languages, Cultures and LinguisticsPart of Humanities

Critical Realist Discourse Analysis, Motherhood and Gender: A Systematic Method of Analysis Event

16:00 - 18:00
19 April 2018
Building 6 Room 1081 Highfield Campus SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this event, please email Dr Karin Zotzmann at .

Event details

In this talk I propose a method for undertaking applied critical realist discourse analysis (CRDA) with a specific focus on talk around motherhood, female employment and daycare generated from interviews with Dutch and English mothers (N=40).

This will be done through providing a framework, a method, for making sense of the participants’ narratives and accounts, looking at discursive and non-discursive factors through proposing three distinctive phases (a scaffolding phase, a data collection phase, and a synthesized discourse analysis phase) grounded in Bhaskar’s critical realist approach.  Focusing on abduction, retroduction and Bhaskar’s (2014) ‘laminated systems’ (irreducible mechanisms that influence a phenomenon at different levels/scales) I aim to provide insight into causal variables and structures that scaffold the participants’ narratives.

To register for this talk, please click here

Speaker information

Dr Wendy Sims-Schouten,University of Portsmouth,Reader (Associate Professor) in Childhood Studies and Associate Head of Research in the School of Education & Childhood Studies, at the University of Portsmouth. She has a specific interest in interdisciplinary research around childhood, gender, parenting, safeguarding and mental health. In her research she focuses on the role of language in constructing realities, drawing on discourse analysis, discursive psychology, as well as non-discursive factors (embodiment, materiality). Drawing on Bhaskar’s work, she has developed applied critical realist discourse analysis as a tool for making sense of perspectives and experiences around motherhood, gender, mental health and wellbeing, as an alternative to social constructionist approaches. She is the founder of the ‘Mental Health in Childhood and Education’ (MICE) Hub for research around mental health and wellbeing, working with academics nationally and internationally, as well as charities and local partners on related projects. Website:

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