Foucault News

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

Määttä, S.K.
Discourse and ideology in French thought until Foucault and Pecheux. In Määttä, Simo K. and Hall, Marika K. Mapping Ideology in Discourse Studies. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Mouton, 2022.

DOI: 10.1515/9781501513602-002

Since many, if not most, of the early sources of critical approaches to discourse and ideology come from France, the parallel and sometimes divergent development of these concepts may help to explain some of the contradictions present in today’s theorizations and applications. This chapter provides a succinct account of the etymology, history, and evolution of the concepts from their first usage until the early years of French discourse analysis in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The focus rests on the similarities, overlaps, and coincidences in the theorizations of some of the most important thinkers for the critical study of discourse, particularly Michel Foucault and Michel Pecheux. The goal is to explain how the theory of discourse and ideology is contingent upon the political and intellectual context and the relations between theorizations coming from different sources. The chapter concludes by arguing that the divergence of later approaches and the frequent difficulty of integrating discourse and ideology are due to different factors. These include the polysemy and diverse historical usages of the word discours in French and other languages and the fact that Foucault’s concept of discourse is a hybrid configuration integrating several contemporary ideas, including Althusserian considerations of ideology. © 2022 Walter de Gruyter Inc. All rights reserved.

Author Keywords
Critical discourse analysis; Discourse; Discourse analysis; Foucault; French discourse analysis; Ideology; Pecheux

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