Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)


Discourses in Action What Language Enables Us to Do, Edited By Klaus Krippendorff, Nour Halabi, Routledge, 2020

Book Description
This interdisciplinary collection brings together leading and emerging scholars of discourse, conceptualizing how discursive practices shape social, political, and even material realities today.

Discourses in Action presents a wide range of essays that explore fundamental concerns for the social consequences of text, talk, and discursively informed actions and possibilities of discursive engagement. It opens new perspectives on what language does and the differences that scholarly and practical contributions can make. Chapters cover diverse topics, ranging from political struggles, climate change, social revolutions, ethnicity, violence and other often unexpected patterns of discursive consequences. Its essays also explore the cultural contingencies that underlie discourse practices which are usually ignored when analysed from within a taken-for-granted culture.

Providing a useful examination of current discourse studies, this interdisciplinary volume is ideal for students and researchers within media, communication, discourse analysis, linguistics, cultural studies, and the sociology of knowledge.

Krippendorff, K.
Introduction: Why discourses in action?

DOI: 10.4324/9780429356032-101

The humanities, the sociology of knowledge, cultural studies, hermeneutics, even big data statistics, all address different aspects of text and talk. Within communication research, several methods have been developed that shed light on the media in which the substance of discourses is disseminated; for example, conversation, content, rhetorical, discourse, and media analysis. In the writing of Michel Foucault, who proposed rules and practices that govern the use of language in different historical eras, discourse has become an overarching system of representation. Mathematics is a discourse that explores proofs within well-defined formalisms, independent of what other discourse communities may do with them. In scientific discourses, institutionalization begins with formal education as a path to membership. It continues in the form of handbooks, regularly appearing publications, standardized methodologies, entitlements of earned degrees, and specialized infrastructures. Members of different discourse communities may well speak the same natural language without being able to understand each other’s discourse.

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