Critical Policy Discourse Analysis
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Critical Policy Discourse Analysis

Edited by Nicolina Montesano Montessori, Michael Farrelly and Jane Mulderrig

This book provides a series of contemporary and international policy case studies analysed through discursive methodological approaches in the traditions of critical discourse analysis, social semiotics and discourse theory. This is the first volume that connects this discursive methodology systematically to the field of critical policy analysis and will therefore be an essential book for researchers who wish to include a discursive analysis in their critical policy research.
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Chapter 4: The recontextualisation of higher education policy in learning and teaching practices: the discursive construction of community

Sarah Horrod


Major policy reforms in English higher education challenge existing structures, funding systems, even the purpose of higher education. Taking a broadly critical, interpretive approach to policy analysis, I seek to examine policy constructions in what is increasingly characterised as a marketised sector (for example, Molesworth et al., 2011). I draw on concepts from Bernstein’s sociology of pedagogy (2000) and the Discourse Historical Approach (DHA) (Reisigl and Wodak, 2015) within critical discourse studies (CDS) to explore connections between national policy texts on learning and teaching and institutional policy, participant accounts and practices. This chapter focuses on the discursive construction of community and its use in legitimating approaches to learning and teaching which differ from participants’ own constructions. I illustrate how recontextualisation of policy can be explored by tracing topics and arguments across different texts and spaces. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the value of the methodological framework for investigating policy and practices.

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