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DISCOURSE IS A term used by social scientists and theorists to refer institutionalized habits of thinking, talking, and narrating, which both reflect, reproduce, and impose understandings of the world. The most prominent theorist influencing nature–society studies that incorporate or adopt the idea of discourse is Michel Foucault, whose social theory directs attention at normal ways of speaking about and categorizing the world; the degree to which they are inherited, imposed, and enforced socially; and the limits and bounds they place on seeing nature and society. As Norman Fairclough explains, for Foucault, the objects of discourse are constituted and transformed according to the rules of some particular discursive formation, rather than existing independently and simply being referred to or talked about in a particular discourse. Discursive ...

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