Pre-ALAPP Masterclas

20 November 2017

Engaging Qualitatively with Institutional and Professional Discourse

Course Leader: Srikant SARANGI, Aalborg University, Denmark

The aim of the Masterclass is to offer research-based conceptual, methodological and analytical insights into discourse analysis in institutional and professional settings such as health and social care, law, education, media, business and industry.

Language/communication-based studies – concerned with talk, text and other modalities (discourse, more generally) – have been carried out in the domains of professions and institutions/organisations over the past four decades, both within quantitative and qualitative research paradigms. Within the qualitative tradition, researchers adopt different methodological and analytical perspectives when engaging with talk data (e.g. workplace encounters, research interviews) and text data (e.g., websites, media representations, illness narratives). Within what can be broadly captured as ‘theme-oriented discourse analysis’ (Roberts and Sarangi 2005), this Masterclass will be primarily devoted to ‘activity analysis’ and ‘account analysis’ (Sarangi 2010) which are distinctive in at least three ways: mapping of structural, interactional and thematic trajectories; relationality concerning focal themes and analytic themes; and role performance vis-à-vis participant structure and rhetorical devices.

There are four parts to the Masterclass: (i) an overview of mainstream traditions of professional and institutional/organisational studies (Sarangi 2005; Sarangi and Candlin 2011); (ii) a summary of methodological and interpretive challenges facing the qualitative researcher (Sarangi 2007), with a focus on key analytical tools; (iii) an exercise in sample data analysis; and (iv) a discussion of concerns arising from participants’ own research experiences.

The Masterclass is targeted at both early career and experienced researchers across disciplinary boundaries with an interest in qualitative inquiry.



Monday 20 November 2017




Ghent University, Blandijn



The Masterclass is free of charge. It is open for ALAPP conference participants. The number of places is limited. Priority will be given to doctoral students.



Register via email to (please include proof of status as a research student, if applicable)

The deadline for registration is 20 October 2017. A reading list and PDFs will be distributed after the registration deadline.


Preliminary Programme

09:00 – 09.30         Welcome and introductions

09:30 – 11:00          Lecture 1: The interplay of institutional and professional orders of discourse: an overview of concepts and themes

11:00 – 11:30          Tea/coffee break

11:30 – 13:00          Engaging with institutional/professional discourse data from multiple perspectives: some parameters and paradoxes

13:00 – 14:00          Lunch break

14:00 – 15:30          Data session (group work)

15:30 – 16:00          Tea/coffee break

16:00 – 17:00          Forum discussion on themes raised by participants


Key Readings

Roberts, C. and Sarangi, S. (2005) Theme-Oriented Discourse Analysis of medical encounters. Medical Education 39: 632-640.

Sarangi, S. (2005) The conditions and consequences of professional discourse studies. Journal of Applied Linguistics 2 (3): 371-394.

Sarangi, S. (2007) The anatomy of interpretation: Coming to terms with the analyst’s paradox in professional discourse studies. Text & Talk 27 (5/6): 567-584.

Sarangi, S. (2010) Practising discourse analysis in healthcare settings. In I. Bourgeault, R. DeVries and R. Dingwall (eds) The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Methods in Health Research, 397-416. London: Sage.

Sarangi S. (2017) Editorial: En‘gaze’ment with Text and Talk. Text & Talk 37 (1): 1-23.

Sarangi, S. (forthcoming) Communication research ethics and some paradoxes in qualitative inquiry. To appear in Bernadette Vine (ed.) Introducing Language in the Workplace. Cambridge University Press.

Sarangi, S. and Candlin, C. N. (2011) Professional and organisational practice: A discourse/communication perspective. In C. N. Candlin and S. Sarangi (eds) Handbook of Communication in Organisations and Professions, 3-58. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Sarangi, S. and Roberts, C. (1999) The dynamics of interactional and institutional orders in work-related settings. In S. Sarangi and C. Roberts (eds.) Talk, Work and Institutional Order: Discourse in Medical, Mediation and Management Settings, 1-57. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

A fuller reading list and PDFs will be distributed after the registration deadline.