Discourse and Knowledge

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Theoretical and methodological aspects of a critical discourse and dispositive analysis. Von Siegfried Jäger

Central to a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) based on Michel Foucault’s discourse theory are issues such as, what knowledge (valid at a certain place at a certain time)* is at all, how the valid knowledge evolves, how it is passed on, which function it has for the constitution of subjects and the shaping of society and which impact this knowledge has on the overall development of society.1 Here ‚knowledge‘ means all kinds of contents which make up a consciousness* and/or all kinds of meanings used by respective historical persons to interpret and shape the surrounding reality. People derive this ‚knowledge’* from the respective discursive contexts into which they are born and are entangled with for their entire existence. Discourse analysis, extended to include dispositive analysis, aims to identify the knowledge (valid at a certain place at a certain time) of discourses and/or dispositives*, to explore the respective concrete context of knowledge/power and to subject it to critique. Discourse analysis pertains to both everyday knowledge* that is conveyed via the media, everyday communication, school and family etc. and also to that particular knowledge (valid at a certain place at a certain time) which is produced by the various sciences. This applies both to the cultural and the natural sciences.

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