University Self-Identity Narratives: A Foucauldian Critical Discourse Analysis

University Self-Identity Narratives: A Foucauldian Critical Discourse Analysis

Author: 
Eric Albert Pearse
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
This research study, which is a qualitative case study informed by the philosophical ideas of Michel Foucault, employed the Foucauldian discourse analysis methodology developed by Jäger (2001) and Jäger and Maier (2009) to answer two critical research questions: What knowledge is found in the discourse(s) of American traditional and non-traditional university websites? And, What internal and external concordances or contradictions exist in the discourse(s) that contain(s) the knowledge found on these traditional and non-traditional university websites? It applied Foucauldian critical discourse analysis to the self-identity texts or “discourse fragments” found on 10 traditional and 10 non-traditional university websites. The Home, About, History, and Mission Statement pages, as the most public informational spaces constructed by these institutions, offer particular informational intentionality. The initial Concept of the University used was the Humboldtian paradigm that eventually developed into the traditional research university in the United States (Christensen & Eyring, 2011). Following analysis of the discursive plane of the higher education’s sector and sub-sectors, the study provided a “Synoptic Analysis” (Jäger & Maier, 2009, p. 56), or summary, of the university’s “Discursive Position” (M. Jäger, 1996: 47 in S. Jäger, 2001, p. 49; Jäger and Maier, 2009, p. 49). It concluded with a comparative synoptic analysis (Jäger, 2001, p. 56) that allowed the boundaries of the discursive plane to be delimited, and provided the context for the conclusions and recommendations.
Dedication: 
To my dear wife Hilda for her love, understanding, and patience
Acknowledgements: 
I am grateful to many academic colleagues for sharing their knowledge and experience. My mentor, Dr. Robin Jackson and my committee members, Dr. Frank Salamone and Dr. Irene Stein challenged me to achieve my best. I am grateful to the Universidad Latinoamericana, whose sponsorship made my doctoral journey possible. I thank my family, friends, and colleagues whose interest, support, and patience helped me persevere in this endeavor.