The Discursive Turn In Social Psychology
by Nikos Bozatzis and Thalia Dragonas
The present volume offers a 'panoramic' overview of the discursive turn in social psychology. Novel and previously published essays and positioning papers, side by side, introduce, outline and discuss key themes and approaches. Since its early days in the mid 1980s, the turn to discourse in social psychology has managed to enrich and re-orient, to a non negligible extent, the outlook of the discipline. This re-orientation pertains to the type of socio-psychological questions raised and empirically researched; it pertains, therefore, to the explicit and implicit theoretical and epistemological assumptions underpinning socio-psychological research.
Consequently, this re-orientation pertains also to the methodological and analytic practices adopted. The discursive turn is part of the broader, theoretical and analytic re-orientations in the discipline that often come to be designated as critical social psychology (Gough & Mcfadden 2001; Hepburn 2003; Ibánez & ?niguez 1997; Tuffin 2005).
The variety of contributions appearing in this volume makes it clear that the discursive turn in social psychology has diversified into many different paths. Often, the approaches that comprise it appear to differ significantly; and, indeed they differ. However, there is a common denominator, binding together all such approaches, a common denominator that constitutes them as a distinctive paradigm: the emphasis on the performativity of language.