Review Essay: The Dispositif: The Other Side of Discourse

  • Barbara Birkhan
Keywords: discourse, dispositif, Foucault, poststructuralism, sociology of knowledge, theoretical foundations, methodology, praxis, power


The book "From Discourse to Dispositif" aims to fill a gap in the current upsurge of discourse research. Motivated by dissatisfaction with an exclusive focus on discourses in the social sciences, BÜHRMANN and SCHNEIDER do not fall back on the existing alternatives to discourse analysis but rather use it as their starting point to extend the perspective, by way of power analysis, to include non-discursive practices, both symbolic and material objectivations, and subjectivation/subjectification in socio-theoretical, historical framing. One of their goals is to expand, with sociological approaches (especially in the sociology of knowledge), on the basis laid by FOUCAULT. Their conception of dispositif research—even if this work is only supposed to be a concise introduction to it—suits the undertaking in a comprehensive way, in that the authors not only elaborate its theoretical and epistemological premises but also present the corresponding methodological considerations and the methodical implementation in praxis. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs100298


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Author Biography

Barbara Birkhan
Barbara BIRKHAN, Mag., PhD. Cand. am Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie, Universität Wien; Forschungsschwerpunkte im Bereich der Theoriebildung sowie kultureller Differenzen von Natur-/Kultur-Konzeptionen (Inwertsetzung und Kapitalisierung von Biodiversität vor allem auch durch eigentumsrechtliche Regime der Wissensökonomie wie Patentrecht und Sortenschutz). Thema der Dissertation war FOUCAULTs ethnologische Positionierung.
How to Cite
Birkhan, B. (2010). Review Essay: The Dispositif: The Other Side of Discourse. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 11(2).