Social Psychology and Discourse

Social Psychology and Discourse

Author(s): Andrew McKinlay, Chris McVittie

Print ISBN: 9781405146586

Online ISBN: 9781444303094

DOI: 10.1002/9781444303094


"There can be no doubt that it will resonate deeply with social psychologists (students and scholars alike). More importantly perhaps, it will serve linguists, literary scholars and sociologists as a convenient springboard for future interdisciplinary studies on discourse."  (Discourse and Communication, 1 November 2012)

"This unique new introduction to social psychology adopts the explanatory framework typical of experimental social psychology texts and, using a completely original approach, applies this framework to discourse analysis in psychology. Drawing on a range of examples from international research, Andrew McKinlay and Chris McVittie provide thorough yet accessible coverage of theory, methodology and current debates." (The Psychologist, August 2008)

"McKinlay and McVittie have neatly integrated many social psychology topics with discourse without reducing discourse to a simplistic, flavourless methodology. It is thus an impressive achievement that they have been able to address this complexity in a clear and engaging manner… As a teaching text, the book promises to be an extremely valuable addition to any social psychology course." (Social Psychological Review, March 2009) 

"The text is user-friendly: since students may not be familiar with the terminology of discourse, the authors have taken special care to list key terms at the beginning of each chapter and also to define them on the page where they first occur. The book is rich … .The authors make a strong case for the importance of discourse, and even some broadminded adherents of quantitative social psychology might be persuaded that it offers a valuable complement to 'tough-minded' social psychology. The authors have done an admirable job in presenting a massive number of studies in a clear and often lively manner. They have also demonstrated the existence of an impressive amount of discursive work done on a wide range of topics." (Metapsychology, December 2008)

"This is an extraordinarily detailed introduction with by far the richest, and most up to date review of discourse research relevant for social psychologists. Although dealing with issues that are of particular interest to social psychologists, such as identity, groups or attitudes, the book provides a detailed review of a vast number of studies in discourse analysis, and hence is also relevant for students in discourse analysis, linguistics, cognitive psychology and the social sciences. This book offers both the student newcomer to the field, as well as the experienced scholar in other directions of social psychology, a persuasive set of arguments and examples in favor of a discourse analytical basis for social psychology, and a new view of empirical evidence." Teun A. van Dijk, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain.

"This is an outstandingly clear introduction and overview of how discursive research can contribute to social psychology. In contrast to other texts, the book is organized around central social psychological topics. This, together with the international perspective, the clear structure of each chapter, the many examples, and the descriptions of classic studies, makes the text highly accessible and attractive to a broad audience. It is one of the best written books on discourse and social psychology and ideal for students, teachers and researchers. I would highly recommend the book as an invaluable resource to anyone who is interested in what discursive research has to offer to social psychology and to our understanding of the social world." Maykel Verkuyten, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.


"This is an impressive achievement: an overview of psychological approaches to discourse analysis and discursive approaches to social psychological phenomena that is accessible and even-handed. In their scholarly and elegantly written text, McKinlay and McVittie detail the positive contribution that discursive research has made to the core topics of social psychology, including self and identity, group processes, attraction and relationships, attitudes and prejudice. In so doing, they re-position discursive approaches from the critical margins into the very mainstream of social psychology. This superb text is positively brimming with useful information, and should be recommended reading for every undergraduate course in social psychology." Susan Condor, Lancaster University, UK.


"This is an excellent textbook. It provides an authoritative introduction to basic strands of discourse research, including discourse analysis, conversation analysis, discursive psychology, membership categorization analysis and critical discourse analysis that is both comprehensive and unpretentious. The sometimes complex tensions between perspectives are usefully highlighted without bogging the text down in unnecessary detail and there is an interesting chapter overviewing some of the key debates that surround discourse work. The books is organized in a way that brings a fresh perspective to a series of fundamental notions within social psychology such as identities, groups and relationships as well as offering a new approach to applied topics such as aggression, health, and legal issues. It comes with useful exercises and boxes that summarize key findings and overview classic studies. Its coverage of a complex interdisciplinary field is commendable and, as a textbook, it stands as a complete alternative perspective on social psychology that covers the main issues but in a novel interaction-focused way. Overall, it is clear, engaging and up to date; I will use it in my teaching." Jonathan Potter, Loughborough Unversity, UK