Discourse and Social Change
Foucault has been highly influential in social sciences, humanities, and understanding of discourse and discourse analysis. Analysis of Foucault’s work is significant for two reasons: his approach is appreciated by the social scientists and the creation of discourse analysis demands synthesis of linguistically oriented discourse analysis insights of the present social theory on language and discourse. According to the writer, the kind of analysis he is propagating is different from that of Foucault as the former approach is abstract while his approach is textually and linguistically oriented discourse analysis (TODA). TODA is more satisfactory in social analysis as it is theoretically and practically applicable. The former’s approach in discourse varies from the author’s approach, thus brings the complexity of incorporating it into TODA. Foucault’s approach was highly prominent majorly because of the positions he assumed in relation to research study of human sciences. He focused on discursive practices as an approach to move from alternative modes of investigation in social research. He focused on discursive formations in science. This is the major difference between Foucault’s and TODA. At one point, Foucault is more concerned with given sort of discourse like medicine and economics. TODA is however focused on all sorts of discourse like in conversations, media, and classroom. Spoken and written aspects of language are part of TODA, while these are lacking in Foucault’s analysis. Foucault further emphasizes knowledge domains, which are made up of TODA”s rules. Therefore, his analysis is part of TODA.
This chapter highlights the conceptions of discourse in Foucault’s archaeological work and the status of the discourse variation in the genealogical work of Foucault. The main purpose of this examination is to determine valuable viewpoints and insights into discourse work. These are the same concepts, which are to be integrated into TODA’s theory and methodology. Foucault had a number of challenges, which limited TODA’s applications. The author further underlines ways through which TODA can strengthen social examination within the previous approach. Therefore, this modern approach is Foucault’s approach in a specific viewpoint that if fuller and balanced.
Foucault’s archaeological works, mainly referred to as the Foucault’s 1972, comprises two major insights, which are to be included in TODA. There is the constitutive view of discourse that pertains perceiving the discourse as constructing society in diverse dimensions. This discourse comprises objects of knowledge, social subjects and relationships and types of self. The second insight emphasizes the interdependency of the practices in an institution. According to Foucault, discourse refers to analyzing of statements, which involves analysis of verbal performances and logical analysis of propositions and grammatical evaluation of sentences. Therefore, in this approach, discourse analysis greatly varies from linguistic analysis and language. Foucault states that discourse analysis is concerned with socio-historical social variable rather than specifying the possibility of sentences and its grammar. A rule applied in Foucault’s was mostly referred to as the socio-linguistic rules. A discursive formation is made of rules of formation for the statements, which belong to it. The term objects according to Foucault referred to objects of knowledge, which could be extended beyond formal organization of disciplines and sciences. Therefore, discourse analysis is the perception of discourse as constitutive in terms of productivity, transformation, and reproduction. Variation from archaeology to genealogy is a representation of decentralization of discourse; a shift of emphasis in relation to the dimensions of discourse in prominence. Two important claims in these shifts are constitutive nature of discourse, which refers to the social objects and subjects. The second one is the predominance of inter-discursively and inter-textuality, which refers to the discursive practices described by its relations. Major points coming from Foucault’s genealogy are the discursive ability of power, political ability of discourse and discursive ability of social modification.
This chapter presents an evaluation of discourse and discourse framework for analysis. The objectives of this chapter are defined in the initial chapter to highlight linguistically oriented analysis and social and political perception of discourse and language. The author defines discourse in form of text, social, and discursive practice. Discourse according to the author refers to the spoken and written application of language in social practice. Discourse implies a mode of action where people may act to others and to each other. Social structure, class, and relations in a society define discourse.
Discourse contributes to construction of social identities and subject positions for the subjects and forms of subjects. It is significant in the development of social relationships. It further contributes to systems construction of knowledge and belief. These roles form the identity, ideational, and relational roles of language. Discursive practice constitutes conventional and creative approaches. These include reproduction of the society in form of identities, relationships, belief, knowledge and transformation. For instance, teachers and pupils’ identities and their relationships as are central to the education system rely on stability and robustness of the speech patterns for reproduction. These groups of people are ready to be transformed, which is also a portion of discourse. The relationship between discourse and social classes should be dialectally being experienced to overcome challenges of overemphasizing and social determination. This shifts discourse into reflection of social reality. To show how to overcome a pitfall without compromising the principle of constitutiveness, an example is shown. Parent –child relationship and the determination of their position within a family and positioning of the actual people in their positions, the form of the family and home all form a discourse. Provisos that prevent such a nature include the perception of the family as an actual institution with practices and identities, which are also part of discourse.
Social practice assumes diverse aspects such as political, ideological, economic and cultural. All these aspects can implicate a discourse without themselves being reduced to a discourse. For instance, a discourse can be an economic practice. Discourse objects in given proportions, as part of the economic practice of non-discursive form like construction of bridges is part of economic practice and discursive by nature. Specific discourse types of inherent political or ideological values have varying institutional settings. This entails that forms of discourse may be invested in diverse forms.
In clarifying what makes discursive practice discursive, the authors declare that language is part of the answer. Discursive practice is predicted in linguistic nature and in texts as a nature. The other form focuses on discourse as a discursive practice. All these dimensions are social and have need of specific political, institutional and economic settings of discourse. In defining discourse as a text, the author asserts that the features of a text include text production and interpretation. A differentiation between the meaning and relation of a text is that texts comprise of types that past discursive practices, minimized into conventions have meaning. The meaning is heterogeneous, a diversion between overlapping and contradictory meanings. Thus, the texts are mainly ambivalent and open to several interpretations. In conclusion, discourse analysis integrates various theoretical perspectives and approaches.
Intertextuality is a term modified by Kristeva in 1960s in his major contribution, ‘the work of Bakhtin. Bakhtin highlights comparative disregard of the communicative functions of language in linguistics. He specifically underlines the disregard of approaches through which texts and expressions are defined by previous texts that they are reacting to. According to Bakhtin, all texts, written and verbal are limited by change in the speakers and prospectively to the expected speaking of the speakers. Therefore, each verbal is a connection in a chain of speech communication. All statements are therefore populated and constituted by other statements explicitly complete.
Kristeva notes that inrertextuality refers to the insertion of history into a text and the text into history. This implies that the text sucks up and the same text is developed by other texts from history. In inserting the text into history, she implies that the text reacts to, reaccentuates and reworks former texts. This assists in making history and processes of change. It also contributes to anticipation and shaping of subsequent texts. The roles played previously by the texts have further opened the door for the texts to lead in the social and cultural modification. Fast transformation and modification of textual cultures and orders is a unique occurrence suggesting interrextuality is a central focus in discourse analysis. Bakhtin differentiates between horizontal and vertical dimensions on intertextuality by Kristeva. Horizontal inrerrextual connections of a dialogical manner between a text, the texts preceding it and following it in the chain texts. For example, speaking turns in a discussion include and respond to preceding turns and look forward to the following turns. A letter is also part of irerrextuality as it relates to the preceding letter and following letters within s feedback. Vertical irerrextuality connects a text and other texts in immediate and distant contexts. Texts are traditionally related in time-scales and parameters.
Intertextuality of a text is also reflected in incorporating complex connections such as styles to form an order of discourse. Bakhtin discusses genre and highlights that texts only draw sucli conventions in a straightforward approach. Intertextuality comprises of emphasis on the heterogeneity of texts and the form of analysis, which undermines dissimilar and mainly conflicting elements factors. Texts are also contradicting in the scope of which heterogeneous factors are included.
In the sample of news report, the author focuses on the speech ‘reportage’ discourse representation is used. Discourse representation refers to the kind of intertextuality where portions of other texts are included within a text by using reporting clauses and quotation marks. Therefore, this representation is a major component in news reporting. It is also applicable in the court of law and in political rhetoric. However, it has not been fully appreciated. In the sample of the Fairclough, the text shows alternation pattern to depict the discourse mostly applied in advertising and in financial regulation. This form of incorporating financial regulations and advertisements is perceived as a reaction to drama banking systems face. Intertextuality is significant in the constitution of subjects through texts and in contribution of varying discursive practices in social identity. Intertextualiry partially complicates the systems of interpretation of texts to make sense. Interpreters therefore are mainly called to create approaches of fitting different elements of a text to a coherent statement.