Discourse Analysis and Biographical Research. About the How and Why of Subject Positions

Elisabeth Tuider

Abstract


Recent reflections on governmentality studies which are based on Michel FOUCAULT, ascertain new forms of subjectivation within the frame of new (neoliberal) rationalities of government. Following FOUCAULT, these forms of subjectivation are seen as effects of discursive practices. However, there is no way yet on adequate methods for grasping discursive effects. For closing this gap and finding adequate methods to study discursive effects, the subject positions, I will suggest a methodical link between discourse-analysis and biography-analysis. Linking these two research traditions will eliminate the deficiencies of both research traditions: While discourse-analysis just stated new forms of subjectivations without finding adequate methods to study them, biography-analysis just focused on the subject positions without connecting them systematically to the surrounding discourses. Taking the subject position muxé, found in Juchitán/Southern Mexico, as an example, I will illustrate the possibilities of such a methodical combination. On the one hand, the outlined procedure is based on the assumption that biographical narratives are penetrated by discourses. On the other hand, biographical narratives refer to the materializations of discourses. They, in addition, point to that which exceeds a discourse.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs070268

Keywords


subject position; governmentality studies; intersectionality; 3. gender-space; discourse analysis; biographical research; research on Mexico