Theory and Application
- Elgar original reference
Edited by Debra Howcroft and Eileen M. Trauth
Chapter 5: Taking a Critical Linguistic Turn: Using Critical Discourse Analysis for the Study of Information Systems
Rosio Alvarez Introduction Nearly two decades ago Enid Mumford wrote: ‘we have been looking critically at the kinds of research associated up to now with information science, and discussing the need for new approaches’ (Mumford et al. 1985: foreword). At the time, there was growing concern by information systems (IS) researchers that traditional methods could not adequately investigate social needs and problems of IS design, implementation and use. Researchers critiqued the dominant ‘scientiﬁc method’ that most studies employed, and while not rooted in a single theoretical perspective, these studies were overwhelmingly based on positivist assumptions (Orlikowski and Baroudi 1991). Now, almost 20 years later, a cursory sampling indicates a changing research landscape with approaches such as actor-network theory (Bloomﬁeld et al. 1992; Latour 1996; Wilson 2002), critical social theory (Hirschheim and Klein 1989, 1994; Ngwenyama 1991; Lyytinen 1992; Päivärinta 2001) structuration theory (Orlikowski and Robey 1991; Orlikowski 1992; Yates and Orlikowski 1992) and action research (Avison et al. 2001; Kock and Lau 2001), all of which critically view IS development as a socio-organizational and, simultaneously, technological phenomenon. This chapter continues in this tradition by presenting critical discourse analysis as an approach for understanding IS as a discursively constructed phenomenon embedded within social structures. Critical discourse analysis fundamentally concerns itself with critically analysing language or semiotics in the context of social interactions. But why should IS researchers concern themselves with language? This chapter will explore this question and present an argument for understanding IS design and use...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.