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Autumn School "The Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse (SKAD)" 2023

Do., 10/05/2023 - Sa., 10/07/2023

86159 Augsburg

Following the success of the last four international workshops with participants from different countries and all world regions, there will be a fifth introductory workshop in English on the Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse (SKAD) at the University of Augsburg in October 2023. The organiser invites novice as well as experienced academics from a wide range of disciplines, including but not limited to sociology, ethnology, political science, cultural studies, linguistics, education, and other humanities, to explore the potential of this approach to studying discourses in the context of their own projects and research. Please note that the autumn school gives priority to participants without a strong German language background. German speakers are invited to register for our summer school (https://discourseanalysis.net/de/de/summer-school-wissenssoziologische-diskursanalyse-2023).

Discourse studies today cover a large field of approaches across the social sciences, ranging from work inspired by Foucault to Critical Discourse Analysis and through to hegemonic stability theory, corpus linguistics, and on to more interpretive approaches. The Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse draws from Berger & Luckmann’s sociology of knowledge, the interpretive paradigm in pragmatist sociology, and core Foucauldian concepts in the analysis of regimes of power/knowledge, discourses & dispositifs. In doing so, SKAD redirects discourse research towards Foucauldian research interests about questions of social relationships of knowledge & knowing and politics of knowledge & knowing. Doing discourse research refers, according to SKAD, to elements of qualitative research designs (like theoretical sampling, sequential analysis, analysis by contrasting cases, category building, discourse ethnography) and interpretive analytics.

Since the late 1990s, the Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse (SKAD) has been established in discourse & dispositif research in Germany and many other countries. Today, it informs a large amount of discourse & dispositif orientated research projects and publications across fields and disciplines. Workshops introducing theory, methodology, and methods of SKAD research have been established in Germany for more than 20 years. Workshops in French and English have followed suit in the last years (e.g., in the United States, Switzerland, Austria, France, Denmark, Belgium, United Kingdom, Romania).

The Augsburg autumn school builds on the broad international interest in SKAD and introduces core issues of the concrete doing and practice of SKAD based discourse research. It addresses colleagues from the Social Sciences and the broad range of the Humanities who are interested in learning about SKAD and its profile within the field of discourse studies as well as in doing SKAD research/using SKAD methodologies in their own discourse-oriented research.

The workshop will discuss the following topics:

  • What is at stake when using SKAD in discourse research?
  • SKAD theory: discourses & dispositifs – and how to conceptualise them
  • Research questions and conceptual tools in SKAD
  • The methodology of interpretive analytics
  • Getting into the field: methods of data collection and analysing data
  • Getting out of the field: from data analysis to comprehensive diagnostics
  • Digital data and analysis in SKAD based discourse research
  • Special interest sessions (optional): SKAD applications in sociology and the humanities & SKAD application in political science

Special interest session A: sociology & humanities (Reiner Keller)
The session discusses specific questions on SKAD based discourse and dispositif research (for example, the analysis of visualisations, materiality, the ethnography of dispositifs) and allows for an in-depth discussion of SKAD applications in various disciplines (subject to selection if necessary). Participants are invited to discuss SKAD in relation to their own research interests and work.

Special interest session B: political science (Miranda Böttcher)
Discourse-oriented approaches have gained relevance in political research. This in-depth section of the SKAD autumn school will provide space to discuss basic questions and approaches of SKAD based political research. It will cover all parts of the research process: from data collection via data management and analysis to the integration and presentation of results. All steps and phases will be illustrated using examples from empirical research (previous SKAD research as well as participants’ presentations).

The workshop includes data analysis sessions. Furthermore, participants are invited to present their individual research project for group discussion.


Registration at https://www.uni-augsburg.de/en/fakultaet/philsoz/fakultat/soziologie/diskursforschung/#autumn-school. Please take note of the registration information in the call.


Prof. Dr. Reiner Keller
University of Augsburg
Martin Blessinger
Kontakperson E-Mail Addresse