Blogging discourse

A new discoursology feature: random roundups of what the blogosphere is writing about discourse (analysis).

On the empirical front, DrJayne2b is blogging on her research on gaming this looks like ergography in action). Robert’s PE-EFT Scotland blog describes how discourse analysis can be usefully employed to analyse the results gained from the ‘Helpful Aspects of Therapy (HAT)’ form (which “generates lovely qualitative descriptions of significant therapy events”). And the Mofit Ole Unit turns to the utility of Irit Kupferberg’s ‘four world model’ in understanding self-construction in computer mediated discourse. The four world model “positions discourse in relation to the past, the present and the future, and to the interaction taking place”.

e-Ako reports on the new issue of the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, focusing on evidence-based articles useful for understanding online discourse. One in particular attracted my attention:

Wang & Chen, in “Essential Elements in Designing Online Discussions to Promote Cognitive Presence — A Practical Experience“, outline the importance of effective ‘rules’ for online discourse in order to maximise cognitive presence.

On the philosophical side of things, CyberDemocracy pleas for indulgence with the limitations of postmodern positions on politics, i.e., indulgence with the logic that “If a postmodern perspective is to avoid the limits of modern theory, it is proscribed from ontologizing any form of the subject” which means it “is limited to an insistence on the constructedness of identity” and “sharply restricts the scope of its ability to define a new political direction”. On LiveJournal, Dmitry Kremnev posts a far more damning critique of postmodern philosophy.

FeelPhilosophy argues that the difference between Zizek and Lacan is largely formal. Zizek, that is, adds to Lacan’s thinking primarily in terms of form rather than content.

The Accursed Share turns attention to ontology and its independence (or not) from politics. And links to a fascinating post on the relation between neuroscience and philosophy (incl. a full lecture by Scott Bakker which “aimed to provoke high-minded critical theorists out of their self-contentment, arguing that the results of neuroscience have far more radical implications for philosophy, the subject, and meaning than any poststructuralist critique”. Which begs the question whether neuroscience and poststructuralism really need to fight for the right to claim the “most radical” position, or whether they would be more productive if they joined forces).

By far the most interesting post this month on power and the subject – that ever-fascinating topic – is on Good Girls Don’t, which criticises overly simplistic/moralistic views on sex workers that class all sex workers together as victims of trafficking, forced/violent sexual bondage and patriarchal oppression:

I find this position more than frustrating. I find it hypocritical and insulting. To the person of this ideological position, there are no sex workers, just prostituted women. The person is reduced to the sum total of what happens to her body (because the sex worker is always a woman in this analysis). The person has no voice, no personal autonomy. She is only what happens to her body. Which, for a group of people so interested in women’s liberation, is pretty contradictory.

Also on identity, ThinkingWritingLiving considers central questions which become relevant when we think of identity as a multimodal discursive performance. The Postmodern Conservative argues against tentative blogging because “the humble blogger knows his humiliation is coming, but argues assertively until it arrives, secure in his confidence that, when it does, it won’t be that bad.”

And Infomusings is musing about academic writing and the first person. S_he muses that s_he’d like to “throw all other work aside and start a discourse analysis of the LIS literature combined with a survey asking authors to reflect on their use of voice and person”.

Finally, an extended book review has been posted on Law & Politics Book Review of Michael J. Struett’s (2008) The Politics of Constructing the International Criminal Court: NGOs, Discourse and Agency (New York: Palgrave Macmillan).


One Comment to “Blogging discourse”

  1. I’m blogging my discourse analysis notes for an upcoming PhD field exam at I’d love more comments/conversation there if there’s any interest.

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