Although discourse analysis methods have been used for the critical analysis of activist practice theories, the application of these methods to practice processes has remained a largely unchartered territory. A chief aim of this paper is to demonstrate the possibilities discourse analysis offers for the investigation of activist practice processes. The paper introduces a discourse model which combines poststructural discourse principles and conversation analysis methods. The model is then applied to the study of the effects of activist perspectives for service users and workers within a context of activist practice in which one of the authors has been involved as a social worker. This analysis reveals the local interactions amongst workers and service users to be considerably more complex than has been allowed within activist practice discourses.

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