Maria Heller

Title of the presentation:

Methods – discourse analysis – making meaning of a text

Short abstract of the presentation:

Understanding the process of making sense of a discourse through the collective reading and scrutinising of a short story by an American writer. During the process of discourse analysis, the construction of more and more complex meanings as well as redefinition of meanings can be observed.

Short biography:

Maria HELLER is a sociologist and director of the Institute of Sociology at Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Budapest. She is the programme director of the research group Communication and Media Sociology. Coordinator of several large international research and exchange programmes, she is also Vice-Dean for International Relations of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Her background is in sociology and in linguistics, and her research interests include media and communication, theories of the public sphere, discourse analysis and new ICTs. She teaches lectures and seminars on various related topics. She has done research and published in several languages on the structure of the public sphere; discourse analysis of public debates (national identity, demography, NATO and EU enlargement, globalisation, Eurosceptic discourses); discursive strategies of public and private speakers; opposition between public and private in communications; models of communications; value analysis of mass culture, commodity aesthetics; symbolic politics and the European public sphere; the structure of the public sphere in state socialism and in pluralist societies; new perspectives on 21st-century communications; discursive strategies in advertising and the sociology of games. She is a member of several Hungarian and international scholarly associations and has participated in international conferences, educational programmes and workshops in France, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the USA and is a member in international scientific evaluation committees (ESF, ERC, Finnish and Norwegian Academy). She participated in various international research programmes, among which “Changing Media - Changing Europe” organized by the European Science Foundation and she was a “Freedom of Speech” guest professor at Bergen University in 2006-2007. Areas of Expertise: Theory of communication, discourse analysis, the public sphere, sociolinguistics