The HUMA Doctoral Seminar Series 2021

Speaker: Claire-Anne Lester (HUMA, University of Cape Town, South Africa) 

The seminar both outlines and proposes an approach to applied discourse and ideological analysis, which can be a helpful methodology to use in qualitative work. While theories of ideology and methods of discourse analysis are aplenty, it can become difficult to distil a clear framework for the analysis of ideology through discourse analysis.

This seminar provides a brief overview on differing approaches to ideology, providing a distinction between a neutral and critical or pejorative approach. I propose an approach to ideology as part of a more general social theory comprising relations between actions, power and domination. This approach intentionally shifts the study of ideology away from the search for imposed shared norms and values in general to the more specific identification of mechanisms whereby meaning is mobilised through discourse to sustain patterns and relationships of domination.

About the speaker: Claire-Anne Lester holds a PhD in Sociology from Stellenbosch University and an MPhil in Justice and Transformation from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her research interests include transitional and socio-economic justice. She is a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Fellow. Her MPhil and Doctoral research analyses the function of official discourse of commissions of inquiry investigating state violence in the South African mining sector. Claire-Anne's research at HUMA traces ethical and social issues surrounding AI and prenatal diagnostic testing in South Africa and Ghana in the context of the so-called 'fourth industrial capitalist revolution'. More