Thursday, November 12, 2015

Call for Papers: Session on Methodologies of Sociological Discourse Research at RC33 Conference 2016

Call for Papers
RC 33 Session: Methodologies of Sociological Discourse Research
Session organizer: Reiner Keller (Augsburg University)

RC33 Conference 2016
9th International Conference on Social Science Methodology
11-16 September 2016
University of Leicester, UK
The University is looking forward to extending a warm welcome to all delegates for the 9th International Conference on Social Science Methodology in September 2016. The University of Leicester is an ideal venue for the 2016 RC33 Logic and Methodology in Sociology given our location in the heart of England with great transport links and connections. The Department of Sociology Conference Team will host the conference for up to 500 participants.

RC 33 Session
Methodologies of sociological discourse research
In her influential book “Situational Analysis”, American sociologist Adele Clarke (UCSF) argued that in today’s societies, every social phenomenon including social actors are awash in a sea of discourses. Nevertheless, and despite the groundbreaking works of Michel Foucault, sociology has to date been hesitant in developing methodologically sound ways for approaching discursive phenomena that have been adequately reflected upon. This is due in part to the dominance of a rather loosely defined concept of discourse in cultural studies, and of other, more widely used linguistic tools and devices in discourse research across the humanities.
In this context, the proposed session intends to discuss methodologies of discourse research that are adapted to sociological purposes and are able to address the complex discursivity of today’s orders of discourse and knowledge production, accounting for actors as well as discourse structuration in methodologically substantiated ways by using sociological methods and tools for inquiry. In addition to a general discussion of such methods, the session will offer and in-depth focus on the methodology and methods of the sociology of knowledge approach to discourse (SKAD) which combines elements of the sociological interpretive paradigm with Foucauldian concepts and strategies of qualitative research for doing discourse research today. Papers addressing the methodology and methods of sociological discourse research in SKAD or related approaches via theoretical reflection or analytical and empirical cases are welcome. In this way, the session aims to strengthen genuinely sociological methodologies of discourse research.
Please note: Abstract submission is only possible via the conference homepage (see above). Abstracts are limited to 5000 characters. The deadline for abstracts is 21st January, 2016.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Appel à communications - Session ad hoc au congrés international des sociologues de langue française 2016

Appel à communications

SA02 - Complexités discursives
Session ad hoc, XXème congrès international des sociologues de langue française AISLF, Montréal, 4-8 juillet 2016

Les analyses de discours en sociologie: paradigmes, expériences de recherche et défis actuels
Prof. Dr. Reiner Keller
Université de Augsburg, RFA

Guadalupe Escalante Rengifo
Doctorante en communication publique, Université de Laval, Canada

Natalie Schwarz
Assistante diplômée en sociologie et doctorante en sciences sociales, Université Lausanne, Suisse

Le groupe de travail de la session ad hoc « La complexité des constructions discursives des réalités contemporaines : défis pour l’analyse sociologique » invite les chercheurs et chercheuses intéressées en l’analyse de discours à soumettre une proposition de communication afin d’enrichir la réflexion sur les possibilités qu’offrent les expériences et les diverses méthodologies des analyses de discours utilisées en sciences sociales pour la connaissance sociologique du monde.
Les réalités du monde contemporain représentent un défi pour la sociologie en tant que champ de savoir et aussi pour la créativité des chercheurs dans l’analyse et l’interprétation du monde social. De nouveaux objets d’étude et de nouvelles problématiques demandent de nouvelles approches théoriques et méthodologiques. Les constructions discursives que promeuvent les médias de communication et les réseaux sociaux, entre autres, occupent une place privilégiée dans la sphère publique. À l’heure actuelle, comme laffirme Adele Clarke, il est difficile de penser la complexité des interactions sociales sans prendre en compte les discours. Analyser ces discours et leurs complexités s’avère nécessaire dans le programme actuel de notre discipline. Cette complexité est issue de plusieurs facteurs: l’hybridation des cultures épistémologiques et des productions des savoirs et des connaissances; la participation élargie de la société civile dans les débats et les évaluations des recherches et des décisions; les imbrications et la transnationalisation des acteurs et des diverses arènes de production de discours ainsi que de nouveaux regards pour la performativité de la matérialité des objets, entre autres.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Workshop at ICQI 2016

"Doing Discourse Research”

Thursday, 19th May 2016
Prof. Dr. Reiner Keller
Professor for Sociology, Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences
University of Augsburg, Germany

The Twelfth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry will take place at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign from May 18-21, 2016. For registration, please visit the congress' website at

Discourse Studies today cover a large field across the social scienes, ranging from work inspired by Foucault, Critical Discourse Analysis through Hegemonics Analysis, Corpus Lingustics and more interpretive approaches. The present workshop on “Doing Discourse Research” will introduce participants to the main positions in the heterogeneous field of discourse research (including Foucauldian perspectives, CDA, Hegemonics and the Sociology of Knowledge approach to discourse SKAD). As there is no one best way to discourse research, each of the positions mentioned allows for dealing with particular questions in critical inquiry into discourses. The first part of the workshop therefore discusses the relationship between theoretical groundings, analytical potential and methods of doing discourse research in these diverse approaches. Second, the workshop will present in more detailed ways the proceedings of the sociology of knowledge approach to discourse developed by Reiner Keller. SKAD draws on Berger & Luckmann's sociology of knowledge, but includes major Foucauldian concepts and research interests. Integrating both, it re-orientates discourse research towards questions of social relationships of knowledge and politics of knowledge, referring in its concrete ‘ways of doing’ to qualitative research design and interpretative analytics.

Workshop Schedule

Monday, September 7, 2015

Call for Papers for ICQI 2016 - Analyzing Discourse with SKAD

Analyzing Discourse and Foucauldian Regimes of Power/Knowledge with the Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse and related perspectives

ICQI 2016

The Twelfth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry will take place from May 18-21, 2016 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA), see

Session Organizers:
Prof. Dr. Reiner Keller
Prof. of Sociology, Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences
University of Augsburg, Germany

Prof. Dr. Peter Stücheli-Herlach
Prof. of Organizational Communication, School of Applied Linguistics
Zurich University for Applied Sciences, Switzerland

The session will discuss empirical research on discourses and regimes of power/knowledge in different social areas, using the Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse (SKAD). This perspective on discourses and their analysis draws on Foucault, Berger and Luckmann and the interpretative paradigm of sociology including symbolic interactionism and "communicative constructivism". In comparison to the Foucauldian tradition, SKAD focuses more on social actors and societal arenas of discursive disputes. In comparison to Berger & Luckmann, it expands analysis of societal processes of knowledge construction in institutional contexts and in public or semi-public arenas. Integrating both, it re-orientates discourse research towards questions of social relationships of knowledge and politics of knowledge – following knowledges, their production and power effects through societies. In doing so, SKAD takes also into account research questions concerning situational analysis and organizational discourse as well as the challenges of applied research in the field. The session invites researchers using the SKAD framework to present their work and/or to discuss further perspectives. 

Please submit your abstract (max. 350 words, including first and last name, current institutional affiliation and email-address) by 10th October 2015 to

Monday, April 20, 2015

Call for Papers - The Complex Discursivity of Global Futures in the Making

The Complex Discursivity of Global Futures in the Making: Analyzing Transnational Orders of Discourse

Session organized by Reiner Keller at the III. ISA Forum of Sociology, July 10th - 14th, 2016, in Vienna, Austria

Deadline for submission:  September 30th, 2015

Global and transnational civil society, the proliferation of arenas and organizations involved in the definition of ‘world problems’, the burgeoning economic power of the BRIC-states as well as general recognition of a ‘post-colonial constellation’ together constitute a new and challenging reconfiguration of transnational or global orders of discourse. The joint session addresses sociological tools for analyzing the complex discursivity of such sites of discourse, communication, and knowledge production. This complexity is a result of the hybrid constellations of the actors and knowledge claims involved, interconnections of heterogeneous arenas of dialogue and negotiation, diverse cultural rationalities of factuality, evidence, and legitimation, and also of translation between epistemic cultures and languages from around the world.

In order to address these challenges, the session focuses on the reach of sociological tools for analyzing transnational and global discourses as knowledge- making activities which will profoundly shape the future. It intends to strengthen genuinely sociological methodologies of discourse research – a task which, according to sociologist Adele Clarke, is at the center of our discipline today.

The session welcomes contributions which refer to theories, methodologies, and methods of discourse research designed especially for sociological research as well as presentations of empirical research that are related to these questions.

Click here to view the full text of the call.

Also, Reiner Keller's workshop on SKAD at the 11. ICQI at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U.S.A.) is coming up next month (May 20 - 23). Read more about this SKAD workshop here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Discursive Construction of Reality II / Die Diskursive Konstruktion von Wirklichkeit II

Second Augsburg Conference on Discourse Research

Location: University of Augsburg, Germany
Date: March 26, 2015 (begins 2:00 p.m) – March 27, 2015 (ends 5:00 p.m.)
Conference organizers: Reiner Keller, Sasa Bosancic

Registration is free of charge. Please register before March 20th, 2015 by sending an e-mail with your name or the name of participants in your group to:

If you have any further questions, please contact:

Over the last decade, the research programme outlined by the sociology of knowledge approach to discourse (SKAD) has spread to many disciplines in social science. A common interest in discourse research has resulted in a widely distributed community that prevalently, but not exclusively, uses qualitative research designs to examine forms of 'discursive construction of reality'. Corresponding studies may be found in sociology, but also in neighbouring disciplines such as political science, historical science, educational science, theology, linguistics, and criminology, among many others. This approach to discourse research combines social constructionist and interpretive-pragmatic schools of thought with the theoretical concepts and lines of investigation of discourse in the tradition of Michel Foucault, with the intention of analysing knowledge relations and policies in society. Bearing these core tenets in mind, the original approach has nonetheless been successfully amended, expanded, and occasionally modified to meet the demands of different fields of study and forms of data.

Following the first Augsburg conference on interpretive / sociology of knowledge (SK) discourse research with over 150 participants and 40 contributions from different disciplines in March of 2013, the upcoming conference would like to continue in the spirit of an interdisciplinary discussion about the foundations and applications of SKAD and SK-inspired discourse research, as well as related perspectives.