Re: Discourse

On Wed, 14 Sep 1994, John Hollister wrote:

> Howdy,
> This is a real basic question, but just what, exactly, is 'discourse' in
> the sense(s) used by MF and his followers? I was recently advised that
> my working hypotheses (shared understandings that make communication
> possible, communication tout court, traditions for talking about something)
> are wrong. However, in (re)reading MF, and in scanning the secondary lit,
> I haven't been able to find a clear, usable key for deciphering statements
> that use the D word.

Perhaps the term should be seen under another one, which is "discursive
practices." One professor pointed out that she felt Foucault implied
that everything was discourse. Somehow, she related it to power. Thus,
relations within the self, between the self and texts, between the self
and others, and between groups rested on power vested by a deployment of
knowledge. Perhaps from there we see "power/knowledge," which is one
implication of discourse. A better term would probably be "deployment,"
following Deleuze and Guattari's wonderful war-machines.

Rafael Acuna
Ateneo de Manila University

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