Chapter 14: Using discursive psychology to critique power imbalances in the health workforce
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Discourse is the primary medium through which our lives are understood, represented, and interrelated. Although some approaches to discourse analysis consider discourse as independent of context, discursive psychology examines discourse as situated action and considers the meanings of these actions. This chapter explores the role of discursive psychological principles in understanding and critiquing the discursive practices that shape and that are shaped by social norms in the health workplace. Specifically, we focus on ways in which peer workers (those employed on the basis of experience of health service use or distress) are positioned by common discursive practices. We demonstrate how a discursive psychology approach can be used to challenge hierarchies embedded within the health sector. In doing so, we offer the principles underlying discursive psychology as a lens through which to investigate and interrogate social realities and a means to challenge discourses that reproduce marginalisation within and beyond the workforce.

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