Share This
« Back to Glossary Index

The primary focus of this piece, discourse, is a concept prevalent in social sciences that pertains to formal dialogues or debates centered around a specific subject. It includes the language used, discussions held, and written documents that contribute to our comprehension of societal constructs. Discourse has a profound connection with power dynamics and is instrumental in molding our reality. Numerous theoretical perspectives such as modernism, structuralism, poststructuralism, and Foucault’s discourse theory provide insights into discourse. Various forms of discourse analysis like critical, conversation, and Foucauldian discourse analysis aid in deciphering communication trends and societal frameworks. Discourse study is extensively applicable in diverse fields like sociology, environmental policy, and cultural studies, and has deep-seated effects on gendered discourses and societal standards. Esteemed scholars such as James P. Gee, Robert Stalnaker, and Peter Pagin have made significant contributions to the analysis of discourse. Research on discourse is of utmost importance in social sciences as it enhances our knowledge of language, identity, and power hierarchies.

Discourse (Wikipedia)

Discourse is a generalization of the notion of a conversation to any form of communication. Discourse is a major topic in social theory, with work spanning fields such as sociology, anthropology, continental philosophy, and discourse analysis. Following pioneering work by Michel Foucault, these fields view discourse as a system of thought, knowledge, or communication that constructs our experience of the world. Since control of discourse amounts to control of how the world is perceived, social theory often studies discourse as a window into power. Within theoretical linguistics, discourse is understood more narrowly as linguistic information exchange and was one of the major motivations for the framework of dynamic semantics, in which expressions' denotations are equated with their ability to update a discourse context.

« Back to Glossary Index
Keep up with updates