Discursive Analytical Strategies: Understanding Foucault, Koselleck, Laclau, Luhmann

Discursive Analytical Strategies: Understanding Foucault, Koselleck, Laclau, Luhmann

Discursive Analytical Strategies: Understanding Foucault, Koselleck, Laclau, Luhmann

Discursive Analytical Strategies: Understanding Foucault, Koselleck, Laclau, Luhmann

Synopsis

This exciting and innovative book fills a gap in the growing area of discourse analysis within the social sciences. It provides the analytical tools with which students and their teachers can understand the complex and often conflicting discourses across a range of social science disciplines.Examining the theories of Foucault, Koselleck, Laclau and Luhmann, the book focuses on the political and social aspects of their writing discusses and combines their theories to suggest new analytical strategies for understanding society combines theory with practical illustrations.A best seller in Denmark, this English edition is vital reading for anyone with an interest in discourse analysis. It will also be invaluable to anyone looking at the analytical works of Foucault, Koselleck, Laclau and Luhmann. Students will find the clear exposition of the theories and strategies supported by an easy-to-digest, easy-to-read layout, which includes summaries and boxed examples highlighting the relevance of analytical strategies to social and policy research.

Excerpt

The social sciences currently exist in the light of constructivism. a number of social scientists see themselves as different types of constructivists, and the constructivist spectrum is broad — from Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann via Pierre Bourdieu to Michel Foucault and Niklas Luhmann. So, why is constructivism so popular now? in my view it has simply become too difficult not to be a constructivist. Regardless of the field of social science one focuses on, the most noticeable thing is change, and changes often touch upon and challenge fundamental values, raising questions about the constituent character of what we see.

If we look at politics, the European nation states are being integrated in the European Union and the World Trade Organisation — a process that challenges the value of the sovereign state. If we look at medicine, new technologies (such as prenatal diagnosis) question the value of individuality. the welfare state is experiencing a growing number of reforms based on spending politics, which questions the value of solidarity. We frequently find that our categories do not suffice; they seem inadequate. They appear to point to a former order of society that no longer exists. This is the case with, for example, the notion of state sovereignty. We use the ‘conventional concept’ to evaluate the concept’s change. We evaluate European integration by using categories belonging to a dated world order. We analyse the future by the standards of the past.

Our experiences of the insufficiency of categories encourage us to take a step back in order to look at the categories themselves — their construction, their history and their position within the fields of our focus. Rather than analysing European integration from the perspective of’state sovereignty’, we inquire about the concept of sovereignty itself and the historical conditions of its existence and transformation. We inquire into how the idea of the sovereign state has been shaped and how it may be threatened by the European Union. We look at which new concepts could be emerging, which new meanings the old concept of sovereignty is given, how a new institutionalised framework is built around a new understanding of sovereignty and so on. Rather than forming an immediate judgement of new technologies, we make inquiries about the evolution of technology and of individual values. in what way do new technologies change our understanding of life, individuality, destiny, responsibility and freedom? To what extent do new technologies not only create new ideas, but also revive old ideas and reopen old questions, for example . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.