schizophrenia discourse analysis self construction dialogical self
Trudy Meehan & Mac MacLachlan, Self in Schizophrenia: A Discourse Analysis, Psychology & Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 81, 2008, 131, 142
Psychology & Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice 81
Objectives: Lysaker and Lysaker (2002) employ a dialogical theory of self in their writings on self disruption in schizophrenia. It is argued here that this theory could be enriched by incorporating a discursive and social constructionist model of self (Harré. 1998). Harré’s model enables researchers to use subject positions to identify self construction in people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia that the dialogical model, which uses analysis of narrative, does not easily recognise.
Methods: The paper presents a discourse analysis of self construction in eight participants with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Transcripts from semi-structured interviews are analysed, wherein focus falls on how participants construct self in talk through the use of discursive devices and subject positioning.
Results: The findings indicate that by Harré’s theory of self and the implied method of discourse analysis enables more subtle and nuanced constructions of self to be identified than those highlighted by Lysaker and Lysaker (2002). The analysis of subject positions revealed that the participants constructed self in the form of Harré’s (1998) self1, self2 and self3. The findings suggest that there may be constructions of self used by those diagnosed with schizophrenia that are not recognised by current research methods focusing on narrative. The paper argues for recognition of these constructions and by implication a model of self that takes into account different levels of visibility of self construction in talk.
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