Blogging discourse (2)

Praxis: Happiness Club Blog informs users about coaches using linguistic discourse analysis, together with, e.g., positive psychology or brain research to create dynamic training programmes such as Anastasia Pryanikova’s “The Art and Science of Rewiring Your Brain for a Happier Life.”

Writing from Burma, Abacus tells the tale of someone being bullied by a stupid white man into accepting a favour and feel bad about it. The blog as a whole is harshly honest and very engaging; sure to resonate with many who’ve felt uncomfortable about their white-ness (or western-ness) while living in the majority world.

Fossicking About gets riled about politically correct changes to rhymes which patronise kids and mean they lose out on shared socio-cultural knowledge. (“What do you do with a drunken soldier?” has apparently been changed to “What do you do with a grumpy pirate?”)

Research: In the Asrudian Center Raewyn Connell writes on masculinities and power. In passing, Connell also writes: “A good piece of social research does not generate an answer that we can apply everywhere; but it may raise issues and pose questions that we can ask everywhere.” — Lovely.

Theory: The Bickerstaffe Record posts a long and typo-fulled, but interesting (and polemic) take on why Laclau and Mouffe’s Hegemony and Socialist Strategy was so successful in England of all places. Also links to a pdf of Hall’s seminal piece on Thatcherism.

Politics: Paul Trathern is pleased that Obama “is committed to the restructuring of our modes of discourse”; and is even optimistic enough to think that Obama is aiming for a political terrain in which we’ve gone beyond playing games (in Eric Berne’s Transactional Analytical sense).

Research and theory and politics and praxis: The philippines matrix project offers a critique of contemporary orthodox cultural studies, asking:

In what sense can this still inchoate and contested terrain called “cultural studies,” distinguished for the most part by formalist rhetorical analysis of texts and discourses, be an agent for emancipation, let alone revolutionary social transformation, of the plight of millions?

The critique functions simultaneously as a good introduction to cultural studies, taking in Gramsci, Althusser, Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, Angela McRobbie, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, Dick Hebdige, etc. (Short for an introduction, the text is long for a blog post.). Scrolling right down, we come to the critique:

[Cultural studies, CS] was never radical enough to destroy the logic of capital and the ideology of commodity exchange. Eventually CS has become an Establishment organon, or an academic “ideological state apparatus” preventing even the old style of Kulturkritik to function.


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