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Discourse and Post-Structuralism
Discourse and post-structuralism

(see also Postmodernism; Semiotics)


In its most literal sense discourse is a form of communication that runs back and forth. Within social analysis, discourse, or discourse analysis, is the study of the processes of communication and the construction of meanings. The analysis of discourse has become a prominent, multi-methodological approach within the contemporary social sciences (Howarth, 2000), and has its roots in a number of theoretical traditions, most notably structuralist (Barthes, 1973; Levi-Strauss 1968, 1977; Saussure, 1974) and post-structuralist (see e.g. Derrida, 1982; Foucault, 1982) reactions to positivistic perceptions of the social world. The study of discourse focuses primarily upon the role of, and relations between, language, social structures and forms of social action and agency. However, given its theoretical diversity ...

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