Sociology of knowledge approach to discourse

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The sociology of knowledge approach to discourse (SKAD) is a social science research programme for studying discourse developed by Reiner Keller[1] in order to analyze knowledge relationships and conditions in society. SKAD stems from the sociology of knowledge of Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann who in the 1960s studied the processes involved in the social construction of generally accessible everyday knowledge in their defining work, The Social Construction of Reality.[2] Keller combines this approach with Michel Foucault's discourse theory, whose work responsible for the prominent role of discourse concepts in social science and inspired several approaches to discourse analysis in other scientific disciplines. As a comprehensive analytical perspective, SKAD has been applied in a number of empirical studies, not only within social science but also in disciplines that extend beyond its borders (e.g., in archaeology, Japanese studies, criminology, or in linguistics). SKAD is predominantly in use within German-speaking academia, though interest has recently been increasing in the English-speaking world.[3][4]


  1. ^ Cf. Reiner Keller: Wissenssoziologische Diskursanalyse. Grundlegung eines Forschungsprogramms. Wiesbaden 2011; English cf. Reiner Keller: Doing Discourse Research - An Introduction for Social Scientists. London 2013
  2. ^ Berger, P. L. and T. Luckmann (1966), The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge, Garden City, NY: Anchor Books. ISBN 0-385-05898-5; ISBN 0140135480 (h.);ISBN 0713900199 (ib.);ISBN 9780140135480 (h.)
  3. ^ Reiner Keller: The Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse (SKAD), in: Human Studies 34 (1), 2011c, S. 43–65
  4. ^ See also an English introduction to SKAD by Prof. Keller at