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    Interpretation and over-interpretation: disputing the meaning of texts

    Frosh, Stephen and Emerson, P. (2005) Interpretation and over-interpretation: disputing the meaning of texts. Qualitative Research 5 (3), pp. 307-324. ISSN 1468-7941.

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    In order to address issues concerning the ‘positioning’ of individuals in discourse, appeal has recently been made to psychoanalytic formulations offering plausible interpretations of how and why specific subjects take up the positions they do. This raises many problems concerning the relationship between ‘top-down’ or ‘expert’ interpretive strategies and the ‘bottom-up’ grounded approaches traditionally preferred by qualitative researchers. Along with these methodological issues go epistemological and political questions concerning power and accountability. The current article stages a dialogue around psychoanalytically and discursively driven interpretive strategies, centring on the analysis of material concerning a teenage boy’s attempt to develop a ‘non-hegemonic’ position with regard to masculinity. A psychoanalytic reading of the boy’s talk is given alongside a discursive analysis used to offer a critique of this approach. It is argued a) that psychoanalytic interpretive strategies require much more grounding than is usually available from conventional interview texts; and b) that a dialogue of psychoanalytic and discursive analytic interpretations serves to raise questions of difference as possibilities for collaboration.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2017 15:20
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:34


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