Theoretical and methodological approaches to language and discourse in social psychology
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Other TitlesLanguage, Discourse and Social Psychology
AbstractThis book contains a range of chapters in the area of language and discourse, all from scholars who identify with the broad concerns of the field of social psychology. The study of language in social psychology has a long history, going back to close observational work of language done from the 1930s on (see Ball, Gallois & Callan, 1989; Markel, 1998). Nevertheless, language and discourse have for a long time been located away from the mainstream of social psychology. Not too many years ago, it was common for senior social psychologists to ask what contribution the study of language, the most social of all human behaviours, could make to social psychology or to psychology more generally. This may be because, as Ball et al. note, the rise of social cognition meant a loss of focus within social psychology on actual behaviour, and a privileging, or arguably even reifying, of thoughts, beliefs and cognitive processes. Thus, it is fair to say that the approach of language and social psychology came from social psychology, in that researchers in one way or another emphasize social-psychological themes like motivation, attitudes, and beliefs. At the same time, however, it can also be said that language and social psychology came out of social psychology, as a reaction to the increasingly intra-personal and cognitivist bias of that field in the 1970s and 1980s. So, the study of language and discourse in social psychology also owes great theoretical and methodological debts to sociology, sociolinguistics, anthropology, and communication studies (see Gallois, McKay & Pittam, 2004).
CitationWeatherall A, Gallois C, Watson BM (2007) 'Theoretical and methodological approaches to language and discourse in social psychology', in Weatherall A, Gallois C, Watson BM (ed(s).). Language, Discourse and Social Psychology, edn, London: Palgrave Macmillan pp.1-12.