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Travel's Others

Realism, Location, Dislocation

James Buzard

This article explores the realist novel's reliance on the discourse of travel developed in the early decades of the nineteenth century, the discourse that authorized self-styled travelers over against the vulgar and proliferating tourists. Taking Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary as a case study, the article shows how the novel structures itself around the sets of oppositions travel discourse employed, most notably that of stasis and mobility, or dwelling and traveling. The fictional narrator strives for authority over against a set of characters differently figured as fixed in place or in entrenched mentalities, and Flaubert's masterful use of free indirect style becomes the narrator's means of establishing that authority through the demonstration of unparalleled mental mobility the technique affords.

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Where's Jessica?

Myth, Nation, and War in America's Heartland

Charles W. Brown

Discourse-based analysis continues to be thought of, in some quarters, in overgeneralizing terms. In this article, I emphasize that all instances of it do not share the same suppositions, and I demonstrate its purchase for a critical but nuanced revisiting of processes of national liberation and development. I present support for some of the conclusions that I advanced in an earlier study (Langley 2001), which examines post-1979 Sandinismo as a dispositif within modernity. Ultimately, I focus upon contrasting discourses of the literacy campaign that place Sandinismo in time and space as well as within a historical particularity. I consider how these discourses relate to the ways in which the most marginalized sectors of campesinos (peasants) fared in the context of the Sandinista project. The manner in which they had been ‘spoken’ about shaped and delimited how they ‘spoke’ and might have ‘spoken.’

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Justinas Dementavičius

This article deals with the question of the conceptualization of state (Lith. valstybe) in twentieth-century Lithuanian political thought and its reflections in Sąjūdis, the Lithuanian independence movement, during the years 1988-1990. It is a commonly accepted myth that Sąjūdis restored the language of Lithuania's interwar period and thus the nation-centered, nationalistic paradigm of that period. A closer look at the political discourse of the interwar period suggests that it is misleading to talk about this kind of restitution. Furthermore, considering the fact that it is important to take into account the Soviet paradigms of the state that influenced Lithuanian political discourse for fifty years, the article finds arguments for speaking about a continuation of Soviet political discourse. Thus, along with restitution, it is possible to find continuities while conceptualizing state in Sąjūdis. While analyzing the meaning and semantic fields of those concepts, it is possible to draw arguments about the real nature of the political transformation of Soviet Lithuania.

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Chantal Mouffe

My aim in this presentation is to offer some reflections concerning the kind of public sphere that a vibrant democratic society requires. I want to scrutinize the dominant discourse which announces the “end of the adversarial model of politics” and the need to go beyond left and right towards a consensual politics of the centre. The thesis that I want to put forward is that, contrary to what its defenders argue, this type of discourse has very negative consequences for democratic politics. Indeed it has contributed to the weakening of the “democratic political public sphere”, and it has led to the increasing dominance of juridical and moral discourse, dominance which I take to be inimical to democracy. I submit that the increasing moralization and juridification of politics, far from being seen as progress, a further step in the development of democracy, should be envisaged as a threat for its future.

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Introduction

Autonomous Driving and the Transformation of Car Cultures

Jutta Weber and Fabian Kröger

This special section on “Degendering the Driver” explores how gender intervenes in the potential shift from a driver-centered to a driverless car culture. It focuses on representations of imagined futures—prototypes, media images, and popular discourses of driverless cars. Following the tradition of feminist cultural studies of technoscience, we ask in our introduction how these new techno-imaginaries of autonomous driving are gendered and racialized. We aim to explore if the future user of an autonomous car is gendered or degendered in the current media discourse. The four articles explore what kinds of images are used, what promises are made, and how the discourse about autonomous driving is influenced by gendered norms. Some authors emphasize that self-driving vehicles could encourage pluralized forms of masculinity. Nonetheless, all authors conclude that driverless cars alone will not degender the driver but rather encourage a multiplication of gendered and racialized technologies of mobility.

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Re-imagining

Kudzai P. Matereke

This paper urges readers to rethink the notions "mobility" and "travel" with an eye to how they may help us craft a more supple discourse of cosmopolitanism. The majority of cosmopolitanism discourses privilege mobility and travel experiences of subjects in the metropolis and sideline and downplay those of the postcolonial (and especially rural) subjects. The paper attempts to broaden the discourses of cosmopolitanism by a critical interrogation of Kant's cosmopolitan ideal and its implications for postcolonial societies. It identifies a "postcolonial moment" of cosmopolitanism that is largely ignored in mainstream analyses. This moment can be glimpsed by exploring two narratives of rural villagers who break free from their epistemic enclosures. This moment can only be fully appreciated by deploying broader conceptions of "mobility" and "travel" which capture not only these concepts' corporeal connotations, but their imaginative and virtual connotations as well.

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Language and a Continent in Flux

Twenty-First Century Tensions of Inclusion and Exclusion

Philip McDermott and Sarah McMonagle

This article introduces the present forum edition on linguistic identities in twenty-first-century Europe. We consider how discourses of inclusion and exclusion, embedded in discourses of the nation, continue to be relevant in understanding and interpreting the social, cultural and political status of (minority) languages and their speakers. In order to introduce the various studies that comprise this forum, we relay how language debates provide a lens through which wider systems of prestige and hierarchy may be focused. Such debates can, at one and the same time, both alter and reflect the meanings and interpretations of Europe itself.

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Mind the Gap

Seventeen Sightings of the “Social” in Economic Development Policy Writing

Ramond Apthorpe

Semantic codes constitute the world (or parts of it), not in a mechanistic “cause-and-effect” sense but through another type of linkage. This article explores some of the semantic code, the “semantic DNA,” of mainstream neoclassical economic development policy thinking and writing and looks at what that mode of thinking incorporates into its discourse as “social.” The various forms of the “social” in economics discourse add up, from a sociologist’s viewpoint, to disappointingly little: they mainly consist of a miscellaneous set of noneconomic aspects that mainstream economic thinking can use to blame for the policy-performance gap between what such thinking promises and what it often actually delivers.

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Bodily Transgression

Conflicting Spaces and Gendered Boundaries of Modernity and Islam in Contemporary Turkey

Mahiye Seçil Dağtaş

As Islamic discourses and practices gain increasing public visibility in Turkey and redefine the gendered boundaries of the state, officers' clubs have become the ideal national 'public sphere' of the military and therefore the site in which female citizens' bodies are displayed as the secular markers of Turkey's modernity. Focusing on an anecdote from ethnographic research on wedding ceremonies held in military officers' clubs in Istanbul, this article explores how the competing discourses on modernity and secularism are manifested and contested concretely in specific gendered, corporeal, emotional and spatial practices in contemporary Turkey.

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Carrie A. Rentschler and Claudia Mitchell

Girlhood Studies scholars respond to an overwhelming portrayal of girls as either bad or needing rescue in, for example, mainstream films on mean girls, popular psychology texts on primarily light-skinned middle class girls’ plummeting self-esteem, and media panics about teen girl sexting. According to Sharon Mazzarella and Norma Pecora, “In response to public anxiety and cultural fascination,” in “academic studies of girls…the emphasis has shifted slightly so that the discourse is no longer linked primarily to crisis” (2007: 105). Still, in popular and policy discourse today, girls are often unfairly and inaccurately cast as either super agents or failing subjects.