Discourse and social change pdf

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Discourse and/as Social Practice – the Analysis of the Problem of Resistance and Hegemony

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Download Free PDF. Download PDF. A short summary of this paper. Copyright ClNorman Faireloogh The right ofNorman Fairelough la be identified as author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act Except for the quolalion ofshort passages for the purposesof 2 Michel Foucault and th.!

Analysis of Discourse 37 criticism and review. For further information on Polity, visit our website: www. I am grateful to Cambridge University Press and analysis as a method in social research, in particular sociologists to Or S. Levinson for permission to use the figure on p.

I have also benefited from the encouragement and article on p. Mary Talbot also provided the conversational narrative sample in chapter 5. I am grateful to Gunther Kress and John Thompson for their very helpful comments on an earlier draft. Last but by no means least, I have had invaluable support and tolerance during the writing process from Vonny, Simon and Matthew.

Introduction Today individuals working in a variety of disciplines are coming to recognize the ways in which changes in language use are linked to wider social and cultural processes, and hence are coming to appreciate the importance of using language analysis as a method for studying social change. But there does not yet exist a method of language analysis which is both theoretically adequate and practically usable. My main objective in this book, therefore, is to develop an approach to language analysis which can contribute to filling this gap - an approach which will be particularly useful for investigating change in language, and will be usable in studies of social and cultural change.

To achieve this, it is necessary to draw together methods for analysing language developed within linguistics and language studies, and social and political thought relevant to developing an adequate social theory of language. Among the former, I include work within various branches of linguistics vocabulary, seman- tics, grammar , pragmatics, and above all the 'discourse analysis' that has been developed recently mainly by linguists the vari- ous senses of 'discourse' and 'discourse analysis' are discussed shortly ; and I include among the latter the work of Antonio Gramsci, Louis Althusser, Michel Foucault, Jiirgen Habermas and Anthony Giddens see references.

Such a synthesis is long over- due, but there are various factors which have militated against it being satisfactorily achieved so far. One is the isolation of lan- guage studies from other social sciences, and the domination of linguistics by formalistic and cognitive paradigms. These positions from various theoretical and disciplinary standpoints see van and attitudes are now changing.

Boundaries between social sci- Dijk ; McDonell , for some of the range. In linguistics, ences are weakening, and a greater diversity of theory and practice 'discourse' is sometimes used to refer to extended samples of is developing within disciplines. More commonly, combining the theories and methods of text analysis of 'systemic however, 'discourse' is used in linguistics to refer to extended linguistics' Halliday with theories of ideology.

Somewhat samples of either spoken or written language. On this 'text-and-interaction' ment of language texts is well developed, but there is little soc. Finally, 'discourse' theory and the concepts of 'ideology' and 'power' are used with is also used for different types of language used in different little discussion or explanation, whereas in Pecheux's work the sorts of social situation e.

Moreover, both attempts consultations'. Little atten- to different ways of structuring areas of knowledge and social tion is paid to struggle and transformation in power relations and practice. Thus the discourse of 'medical science' is currently the the role of language therein. As a consequence, these courses. Discourses in this sense are manifested in particular ways attempts at synthesis are not suitable for investigating language of using language and other symbolic forms such as visual images dynamically, within processes of social and cultural change.

See see Thompson Discourses do not just reflect or represent chapter 1 for a more detailed discussion of these approaches, and social entities and relations, they construct or 'constitute' them; some reference to more recent attempts to improve and develop different discourses constitute key entities be they 'mental ill- them. In upon in discourse analysis. Another important focus is upon chapter 4 I shall also begin using the term 'discourse' with an historical change: how different discourses combine under par- article 'a discourse', 'discourses', 'the discourse of biology' in ticular social conditions to produce a new, complex discourse.

A something like the social-theoretical sense for a particular class of contemporary example is the social construction of the AIDS discourse types or conventions. I shall also refer to the 'discourse disease, in which various discourses e. This more social-theoretical dimension of discourse. The case for the multidimensional concept of discourse and My attempt at drawing together language analysis and social discourse analysis sketched out above is made in chapters This concept of dis- analysis.

I shall argue that these approaches give insufficient course and discourse analysis is three-dimensional. Any dis- attention to important social aspects of discourse, for which one cursive 'event' i. Chapter 2 reviews such social simultaneously a piece of text, an instance of discursive practice, perspectives upon discourse in the work of Michel Foucault, a and an instance of social practice. The 'text' dimension attends to social theorist who has been a major influence in the development language analysis of texts.

The 'discursive practice' dimension, of discourse analysis as a form of social analysis. The chapter goes like 'interaction' in the 'text-and-interaction' view of discourse, on to argue that greater attention to texts and language analysis specifies the nature of the processes of text production and inter- would increase the value of discourse analysis as a method in pretation, for example which types of discourse including 'dis- social research.

Chapter 3, then presents my multidimensional courses' in the more social-theoretical sense are drawn upon and approach as a synthesis of socially- and linguistically-oriented how they are combined. The 'social practice' dimension attends views of discourse, moving towards what I call a 'social theory of to issues of concern in social analysis such as the institutional and discourse'.

This approach is elaborated and applied to various organizational circumstances of the discursive event and how that sorts of discourse in later chapters of the book. This is increasingly the case, but the claim needs more quite familiar in linguistics but not elsewhere, to refer to any explanation and justification.

Claims about the social importance product whether written or spoken, so that the transcript of an of language are not new.

Social theory in recent decades has given interview or a conversation, for example, would be called a 'text'. The emphasis in this book is upon language and therefore linguis- Firstly, within Marxist theory, Gramsci and Althusser tic texts, but it is quite appropriate to extend the notion of have stressed the significance of ideology for modem social discourse to cover other symbolic forms such as visual images, reproduction, and others such as Pecheux have identified and texts which are combinations of words and images, for discourse as the pre-eminent linguistic material form of ideology example in advertising see Hodge and Kress I shall use the see pp.

Thirdly, Habermas has 'consumers' or 'clients', courses as 'packages' or 'products'. It focused upon the colonization of the 'lifeworld' by the 'systems' also includes a more subtle restructuring of the discourse prac- of the economy and the state, which he sees in terms of a tices of education - the types of discourse genres, styles, etc.

The elevation 11lent, and counselling. Moreover, What is open to question is whether such theory and research traditional employee-firm relations have been seen by manage- recognizes an importance that language has always had in social ments as dysfunctional in this context; they have therefore life but which has previously not been sufficiently acknowledged, attempted to transform workplace culture, for example by setting or actually reflects an increase in the social importance of lan- up institutions which place employees in a more participatory guage.

Although both may be true, I believe that there has been a relation with management, such as 'quality circles'. To describe significant shift in the social functioning of language, a shift these changes as 'cultural' is not just rhetoric: the aim is new reflected in the salience of language in the major social changes cultural values, workers who are 'enterprising', self-motivating which have been taking place over the last few decades.

Many of and, as Rose MS has put it, 'self-steering'. These changes in these social changes do not just involve language, but are con- organization and culture are to a significant extent changes in stituted to a significant extent by changes in language practices; discourse practices.

Language use is assuming greater importance and it is perhaps one indication of the growing importance of as a means of production and social control in the workplace.

Let me give some examples. Almost all job descriptions in white-collar work, even at the Firstly, in many countries there has recently been an upsurge in lowest levels, now stress communication skills. One result is that the extension of the market to new areas of social life: sectors people's social identities as workers are coming to be defined in such as education, health care and the arts have been required to terms that have traditionally been seen not as occupational, but as restructure and reconceptualize their activities as the production belonging to the sphere of private life.

One striking feature of and marketing of commodities for consumers Urry These changes of this sort is that they are transnational. New styles of changes have profoundly affected the activities, social relations, management and devices such as 'quality circles' are imported and social and professional identities of people working in such from more economically successful countries like Japan, so that sectors.

A major part of their impact comprises changes in dis- changes in the discourse practices of workplaces come to have a course practices, that is, changes in language. In education, for partly international character. The new global order of discourse example, people find themselves under pressure to engage in new is thus characterized by widespread tensions between increasingly activities which are largely defined by new discourse practices international imported practices and local traditions.

More- establishing identities. This theory of language can fruitfully be over, the increasing salience of discourse in social transformations combined with the emphasis upon socially constructive properties is being matched as I suggested above by a concern to control of discourse in social-theoretical approaches to discourse such as discourse: to bring about changes in discourse practices as part of Foucault's.

We are witnessing a Thirdly, it would need to be a method for historical analysis. On the level of texts, I see these processes in Social psychologists involved in 'skills training' were an early terms of 'intertextuality' see pp. Discursive tech- texts are constructed through other texts being articulated in nologies such as interviewing or counselling are coming to be particular ways, ways which depend upon and change with social treated as context-free techniques or skills which Can be applied circumstances.

On the level of orders of discourse, relationships in various different domains. And institutional discourse practices among and boundaries between discourse practices in an institu- are being widely subjected to simulation: in particular, conversa- tion or the wider society are progressively shifted in ways which tional discourse practices which traditionally belong in the private accord with directions of social change.

Fourthly, it would need to be a critical method. Relationships For further discussion of discourse technologization see pp. Nor is technologization of My objective, then, is to develop an approach to discourse discourse. For viding resources for those who may be disadvantaged through a method of discourse analysis to be useful in such contexts, it change.

In this connection, it is important to avoid an image of would need to fulfil a number of minimum conditions. I shall discursive change as a unilinear, top-down process: there is strug- comment on four of these, and in the process elaborate a little on gle over the structuring of texts and orders of discourse, and the sketch of my approach that I gave earlier.

Firstly, it would people may resist or appropriate changes coming from above, as need to be a method for multidimensional analysis. My three- well as merely go along with them see pp. Chapter 3 events as instances of social practice. My account of analysis in the dimension of discur- analysis. Changing discourse practices contribute to change in sive practice centres upon the concept of intertextuality. My knowledge including beliefs and common sense , social relations, account of analysis in the dimension of social practice, however, and social identities; and one needs a conception of discourse and centres upon the concepts of ideology and especially hegemony, a method of analysis which attends to the interplay of these three.

Moreover, the structur- and 'technologization' of discourse , and their relationship to ing of discourse practices in particular ways within orders of social and cultural changes. It is the combination of the concepts of intertextuality One issue addressed in chapter 4 is the way in which the mass and hegemony that maltes the framework of chapter 3 a useful media are shifting the boundary berween the public and private one for investigating discursive change in relation to social and spheres of social life.

Discourse and social change

This is the reason motivating many revisions of Foucault's method mainly by attempting to introduce a theory of action in order to make a socially active subject link discourse and reality. CDA authored by Norman Fairclough introduces a three-dimensional concept of discourse as text, discursive practice and social practice and uses the Gramscian concept of hegemony rather than ideology to strategically try and surpass the charge for discourse determinism. Seeing discourse as social practice enables us to combine the perspectives of structure and action, because practice is at the same time determined by its position in the structured network of practices and a lived performance, a domain of social action and interaction that both reproduces structures and has the potential to transform them. Gramsci's concept of hegemony sees cultural production as a tool that maintains domination by securing the spontaneous consent of the subordinated. The results suggest a possible subversive intervention into the sphere of discursive practices hegemonic struggle of different voices for supremacy in the order of discourse defining the reception of Zagorka and indicate that detailed empirical research on discursive effects in a series of domains is a method of research on political investment of the order of discourse into social change. DOI:

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Discourse and/as Social Practice – the Analysis of the Problem of Resistance and Hegemony

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