Edited by Nicolina Montesano Montessori, Michael Farrelly and Jane Mulderrig
Chapter 9: Historical ethnography of policy discourse: examining the genesis of a language strategy in Slovenia
This chapter presents the theoretical underpinnings of historical ethnography in the analysis of policy discourse and examines key methodological considerations in studies which take this approach. I begin by situating such research theoretically according to three dimensions, the discursive, ethnographic and historiographic, pointing out existing synergies between relatively distinct theoretical and methodological traditions. To examine how policy analyses can benefit from integrating these approaches, I then present a case study in which this methodology was applied, focussing on the development and implementation of a language policy in Slovenia. I show how the use of historiographic methods of gathering sources and a discursive approach to analysing them allowed me to develop a detailed description of a highly complex policy text despite having no direct access to back-stage political deliberations.
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