Discourse analysis in the study of confessional history: theory and practice
The author of the article presents the methodology of discourse analysis, studies the structural elements of discourse, and analyses the possibilities of using discourse analysis in confessional studies. It has been determined that discourse analysis is a qualitative tool based on an interdisciplinary strategy that allows revealing the hidden meaning embedded in narrative sources and its manifestation in the process of implementing social relations. The article presents different approaches and methods of discourse analysis, which depend on the approach of the researcher, while noting that, within the framework of a specific historical study, discourse analysis always includes the main provisions of the critical discourse analysis methodology and it is aimed at studying the integral components of discourse: subject – activity – text – environment. As methodological principles of discourse analysis, the article highlights the problematisation and evaluation of discourse as a dialogic communicative act, involving the complex interaction of actors in a specific historical, political, socio-economic and cultural context, implemented in a specific narrative. Discourse analysis is built on an interdisciplinary strategy, which involves the use of theory, techniques and methods of various sciences (culturology, rhetoric, philosophy, psychology, political science, sociology, etc.) to identify the relationship between social, cultural, political and social processes, affecting the essence of discourse. Features of the practical application of discourse analysis in the study of confessional history are illustrated by the author on the example of the analysis of the discourse of state policy in relation to the Еvangelical movements of Western Belarus in 1921–1939. The main constituent elements of the discourse were subjected to discourse analysis using the methods of formal logic, the historical-genetic method, legal, sociological and other methods, which made it possible to draw conclusions about the external and internal factors of the state confessional policy, to determine its characteristic features and to reveal the latent meaning of the discourse of the state policy regarding the Еvangelical movements of Western Belarus. As a result of testing, the effectiveness of using discourse analysis for the comprehensive study of the subject of confessional history research was confirmed.
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