Through its post-structural critique of development, post-development provides a fundamental dismissal of institutional development. Drawing on the work of Foucault, post-development portrays development as a monolithic and hegemonic discourse that constructs rather than solves the problems it purports to address. Yet post-development itself becomes guilty of creating an analysis that loses sight of individuals and agency, being fundamental to its development critique. This article discusses the discourse-agency nexus in light of the post-development context with specific reference to the grand structure-actor conundrum of social theory, and asks whether an actor perspective is compatible with discourse analysis and what—if anything—should be given primacy. It aims to provide insight into social theory and post-development comparatively and, furthermore, to put these in context, with Foucault's work being pivotal to the seminal post-development approach.
Post-Development Theory and the Discourse-Agency Conundrum
Jon Harald Sande Lie
Discourses of Agency and Gender in Girls' Conversations on Sport in Windhoek, Namibia
Valerie R. Friesen
In many parts of the developing world, sport is a non-traditional activity for girls, one which is being used increasingly by development organizations for the empowerment of girls and women. However, very little research has been done on the complex subjective perceptions and understandings of the participants themselves. The girls in this study were participants in an after-school program in Windhoek, Namibia, which combines academics and sport. I used discourse analysis to highlight issues of agency, power, and gender that emerge from their reflections on their sport participation. Girls' conversations often revealed acceptance and normalization of dominant gender norms but also a growing critical consciousness, and demonstrated the numerous ways girls resist, negotiate and engage with these discourses through their own perceptions of power, agency, and hope.
Shamans' Qualities in Emic Discourse
This article discusses the sociological hierarchies among Nanay shamans. The shamans evaluate one another and the community also evaluates them, ranking them in myriad informal ways in terms of effectiveness with spirits and healing power. These rankings come about through discursive activities associated with recounting shamanic healing and other ritual practices. While shamans try to maintain close communicative and social relationships with their community, they actively avoid direct interaction with one another as part of a conflict avoidance strategy.
The Discourse of Drama
Regulating Girls in an Icelandic School
Bergljót Thrastardóttir, Steinunn Helga Lárusdóttir, and Ingólfur Ásgeir Jóhannesson
Introduction Since the latter part of the twentieth century, postfeminist discourse on gender and education has focused on how girls outperform boys, arguing that schools have become more suited for girls because of the feminization of
A Peripheral Movement?
Querdenken in the Critical Public Discourse about the COVID-19 Pandemic
Thomas Kern, Dahla Opitz, Julian Polenz, Insa Pruisken, and Sarah Tell
Deutschland (AfD). 4 Compared with movements such as Fridays for Future, Querdenken received a lot of attention but little support in the discourse of civil society. In this article, we reconstruct the critical public discourse on the covid -19 health
Objects of Dispute
Planning, Discourse, and State Power in Post-War France
engendered were produced by and through discourse and narrative. As the Schéma directeur was translated into built forms on the ground, it demonstrated the power of statements, and particularly statements made by the state, to produce changes in empirical
The Girl in the GIF
Reading the Self into Girlfriendship
Reading Girlhood in Digital Spaces I approach the question of how individuals recognize themselves in discourses of girlhood by foregrounding the interaction between readers and texts. Focusing on the production of identity in digital spaces, I
Ndebele Girls as Knowers
Menstrual Preparation and Sanitary Preferences in Zimbabwe
Nolwazi Nadia Ncube
Introduction African girls are located at the intersection of many interventions aimed at supposedly saving them. An issue that merits deeper consideration is menstruation. Dominant discourses suggest that for many poor rural girls, a lack of
Beyond the Discourse of Sexualization
An Inquiry into the Adultification of Tween Girls’ Dressing in Singapore
after adults. Because scholarship on adultification and on tween girls in Singapore remains scarce, I begin by surveying extant literature on the discourse of sexualization. Authors like Taylor (2010) and Duschinsky (2013) have stressed the need to
Unreasonable rage, disobedient dissent
The social construction of student activists and the limits of student engagement
to situate the discussion of the media constructions of student activism and the limits of student engagement discourses in higher education in the United Kingdom. In the U.K., when students raise their placards in political protest; when they stand