5. In conclusion….

Antaki et al. have provided six useful and illustrations of unnecessary limitations within current examples of discourse analysis. I have here commented on and elaborated upon these six to propose a further three (and doubtless the list could continue). Perhaps the list of 'shortcomings' needs to get longer, or even to become less linear and instead wind itself into a spiral, or double helix, or preferably some more open-ended kind of structure - so that evaluating particular advantages and limitations of each analytic strategy or point depends not only where you are, but also when...
Antaki et al. seem to have made efforts to formulate their account to connect with and be relevant to the broad range of discursive work currently in circulation in and around psychology and the social sciences. Perhaps in trying to be inclusive, however, and notwithstanding the acknowledged diversity of their own positions, they have inadvertently become prescriptive by omitting from their analysis attention to the specificity of their own framework for discourse analysis. My comments here are thus intended to ward off a potentially restrictive reading of the valuable points they have made that could work to close off forms of analysis that I would want to admit as relevant contenders for discourse work. Hence while Antaki et al. refer themselves primarily (though they make clear they do not intend this to be exclusionary) to forms of discourse analysis focusing on written text, (more specifically connected talk, and even more specifically transcription of interviews), their account could give the impression that there are actually prescribed features to (in their terms) be 'spotted'.
Moreover the model of discourse analysis they presume treats this as a form of reflection rather than action, in a way that potentially restricts the space of analysis to that of academic production of text rather than to other practices of socially-oriented accountability. Here I am thinking of the 'practical deconstruction' (cf. Parker et al., 1995) style of discourse analysis that occurs within mental health and other forms of political activism concerned with contesting the definitions and practices of contemporary social policies, as well as feminist work, such as that of Burns' (Burns, 2001) mentioned earlier.
Not only, then, does 'doing discourse analysis mean doing analysis', but discourse analysis means analysing discourse. One has to have a theory of discourse (or text or transcript) as well as of analysis to do discourse analysis - and this also includes having an analysis of the technologies of one's own analysis.

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