Revealing Perception: Discourse Analysis in a Phenomenological Framework

Daniel Martínez-Ávila, Richard P. Smiraglia


Phenomenology and Foucauldian discourse analysis are two different epistemic stances that can be applied to the legitimation of knowledge. Although based on two different traditions and interests, the combination of both approaches is presented as a possible and valid way to improve the efficiency of its individual components, thus helping to reveal the artificial construction and the perception of knowledge by individuals in the critical historical dimension and the unstated epistemology driving some classifications. An example of application of this new method is the study of the perception of the Spanish flags in Spain, a shifting perception in history linked to the effects that power discourses and strategies of control have had in the lived experiences of the population. In this example, while discourse analysis might help to reveal the artificiality of the power inequalities and the exclusions in the creation of knowledge, the phenomenological approach helps to reveal the construed nature of this knowledge by the individuals in the different moments of their lives and depending on the different lived experiences and perceptions at any moment.

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