Discourse

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  • From the Latin meaning “running to and fro,” the term basically means conversation, although it more precisely refers to the institutionalized body of opinions and conversations that inform all disciplines or specialisms. It is out of and through a discourse consis ting of many voices that meaning is constructed and that power operates. Statements that appear self-evidently true (or false, funny, authoritative, or blasphe mous) are only so within a local context of assumptions about appropriateness and meaningfulness. Discourse analysis studies the assumptions and implied rules by which meaning is constructed. Truth can thus be considered less the intrinsic property of some statements than the effect of successfully operating discourse. Grammatical correctness does not guarantee, and is not necessarily essential to, meaningful communication and successful ...

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