Discursive Psychological Approaches to Intergroup Communication

Martha Augoustinos, Simon Goodman

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionarypeer-review


    The recent emergence of discursive psychological approaches has challenged the dominance of cognitive and structural models of language that theorize it as an abstract and coherent system of meanings. Epistemologically informed by social constructionism, discursive psychological approaches examine how language is actually used in everyday formal and informal talk or discourse. Discourse (both written text and talk) is treated as a social practice that is both central to understanding and constructing social reality and oriented to the practical concerns of everyday life. Discursive psychological approaches to intergroup communication have produced a large body of research examining everyday informal talk and institutional discourse on intergroup relations in liberal democratic societies. This work has focused primarily on the text and talk of majority group members and powerful elites about matters pertaining to race, immigration, ethnicity, and gender. How speakers attend to and account for group differences in discourse is perceived to be intimately related to the reproduction and legitimation of social inequalities in liberal democratic societies. This body of research has identified common and pervasive patterns of talk by majority group members that are seen as contributing to the continued marginalization and social exclusion of minorities. These discursive patterns include: positive self and negative other presentation, denials of prejudice, discursive deracialization, and using liberal arguments to justify and legitimate inequality
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017

    Publication series

    NameOxford Research Encyclopedias
    PublisherOxford University Press


    • discursice psychology
    • critical discourse analysis
    • social constructionism
    • majority discourse
    • representations of minorities
    • denials of prejudice
    • conversation analysis
    • social identities in talk
    • intergroup
    • communication


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