Developing Foucault's Discourse Analytic Methodology

Rainer Diaz-Bone


A methodological position for a FOUCAULTian discourse analysis is presented. A sequence of analytical steps is introduced and an illustrating example is offered. It is emphasized that discourse analysis has to discover the system-level of discursive rules and the deeper structure of the discursive formation. Otherwise the analysis will be unfinished. Michel FOUCAULTs work is theoretically grounded in French structuralism and (the so called) post-structuralism. In this paper, post-structuralism is not conceived as a means for overcoming of structuralism, but as a way of critically continuing the structural perspective. In this way, discursive structures can be related to discursive practices and the concept of structure can be disclosed (e. g. to inter-discourse or DERRIDAs concept of structurality). In this way, the structural methodology is continued and radicalized, but not given up. In this paper, FOUCAULTs theory is combined with the works of Michel PÊCHEUX and (especially for the sociology of knowledge and the sociology of culture) Pierre BOURDIEU. The practice of discourse analysis is theoretically grounded. This practice can be conceived as a reflexive coupling of deconstruction and reconstruction in the material to be analyzed. This methodology therefore can be characterized as a reconstructive qualitative methodology. At the end of the article, forms of discourse analysis are criticized that do not intend to recover the system level of discursive rules and that do not intend to discover the deeper structure of the discursive formation (i. e. episteme, socio-episteme). These forms merely are commentaries of discourses (not their analyses), they remain phenomenological and are therefore: pre-structuralist.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs060168


discourse analysis; reconstructive methodology; inter-discourse; structuralism; post-structuralism; episteme; Michel PÊCHEUX; Pierre BOURDIEU; lifestyle-analysis; socio-episteme; cultural production; structure of feeling; techno; heavy metal

Copyright (c) 2006 Rainer Diaz-Bone

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