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  • Format: Paperback | 176 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 232mm x 22mm | 540g
  • Publication date: 1 February 2001
  • Publication City/Country: Milton Keynes
  • ISBN 10: 0335200702
  • ISBN 13: 9780335200702
  • Illustrations note: bibliography, index
  • Sales rank: 325,262

Product description

* What do we mean by discourse? * What are the different conceptions of discourse and methods of discourse analysis in the contemporary social sciences? * How can this concept help to clarify key theoretical problems and illuminate empirical cases? The concept of discourse provokes considerable debate and is understood in a variety of ways in the contemporary social sciences. This text presents a comprehensive overview of the different conceptions and methods of discourse analysis, while setting out the traditions of thinking in which these conceptions have emerged. It surveys structuralist, post-structuralist and post-Marxist theory, and the author sets out a fresh approach to discourse analysis, drawing principally on the writings of Saussure, Levi-Strauss, Gramsci, Althusser, Foucault, Derrida, Laclau and Mouffe. He evaluates a number of pertinent criticisms of this approach, and explores ways in which discourse analysis can assist our understanding of identity formation, hegemony, and the relationship between structure and agency. This concise and engaging text provides a stimulating introduction to the concept of discourse for students and researchers across the social sciences.

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Author information

Dr David Howarth is a lecturer in Political Theory in the Department of Government at the University of Essex, where he is currently Director of the Masters Programme in Ideology and Discourse Analysis. He recently co-edited South Africa in Transition: New Theoretical Perspectives (1998) and Discourse Theory and Political Analysis (2000). He has published numerous articles and chapters on discourse theory, post-Marxist political theory and its application to empirical cases, most notably South African politics and new environmental movements.

Review quote

"Howarth's comprehensive yet user-friendly introduction not only sharply sketches the basic aspects of the concept of discourse, but also subjects various discourse approaches to a methodical reflection that proposes new possibilities for research." - Jan Matonoha 20030603

Table of contents

Series editor's foreword Preface and acknowledgements Introduction defining the concept of discourse Saussure, structuralism and symbolic systems Post-structuralism, deconstruction and textuality Foucault's archaeology of discursive practices Genealogy, power/knowledge and problematization The limits of ideology in Marxist theory Laclau and Mouffe's theory of discourse Deploying discourse theory Further reading Bibliography Index.