Aprina Ramadhani Ismiyatun Hasanah Livia Nopika Rahma Muhaimi DISCOURSE

Discourse (from Latin discursus, meaning "running to and from") generally refers to "written or spoken communication or debate". The following are three more specific definitions: (1) In semantics and discourse analysis: A generalization of the concept of conversation to all modalities and contexts. (2) "The totality of codified linguistic usages attached to a given type of social practice. (E.g.: legal discourse, medical discourse, religious discourse.)" (3) In the work of Michel Foucault, and social theorists inspired by him: "an entity of sequences of signs in that they are enouncements (enoncés)" (Foucault 1969: 141). Discourse is a group of statements which provide a language for talking about a particular topic at a particular historical moment. Discourse, Foucault argues, constructs the topic. It defines and produces the objects of our knowledge. It governs the way that a topic can be meaningfully talked about and reasoned about. [e.g. hysteria, sexuality, homosexuality, Romantic love in late 19th century.] French social theorist Michel Foucault developed a notion of discourse in his early work, especially the Archaeology Of knowledge (1972). In Discursive Struggles Within Social Welfare: Restaging Teen Motherhood, Iara Lessa summarizes Foucault's definition of discourse as “systems of thoughts composed of ideas, attitudes, courses of action, beliefs and practices that systematically construct the subjects and the worlds of which they speak." Foucault traces the role of discourses in wider social processes of legitimating and power, emphasizing the construction of current truths, how they are maintained and what power relations they carry with them.” Foucault later theorized that discourse is a medium through which power relations produce speaking subjects, Foucault (1977, 1980) argued that power and knowledge are inter-related and therefore every human relationship is a struggle and negotiation of power. Foucault further stated that power is always present and can both produce and constrain the truth. Discourse according to Foucault (1977, 1980, 2003) is related to power as it operates by rules of exclusion. Discourse therefore is controlled by objects, what can be spoken of; ritual, where and how one may speak; and the privileged, who may speak. Coining the phrases power knowledge Foucault (1980) stated knowledge was both the creator of power and creation of power. An object becomes a "node within a network." In his work, The Archaeology of Knowledge, Foucault uses the example of a book to illustrate a node within a network. A book is not made up of individual words on a page, each of which has meaning, but rather "is caught up in a system of references to other books, other texts, other sentences." The meaning of that book is connected to a larger, over-arching web of knowledge and ideas to which it relates.

. etc. a certain viewpoint. . His words were considered null and void" (150) (although. The Will to Truth: the "opposition between true and false" (150) that is due to a will to truth / knowledge and which is based on historical and thus modifiable systems of exclusion form the domain of the true. The production of discourse is also controlled. There was a shift in the concept of truth. The historically constituted nature of truth is clear in the change from the Sophistic to the Platonic notions of truth: "truth moved over from the ritualised act of . . and grant certain people (and exclude others therefrom) the exclusive right to do so. Foucault stresses that the first two forms of exclusion are subordinate to the third form. judicial and scientific in nature. via internally applied rules for the control and delimitation of discourse. which are reiterated. attributed" (151). . Commentary's role is to articulate what has already been said: it "gives us the opportunity to say something other than the text itself. the mad man's speech was "credited with strange powers. the penal code. via what he conceives of as externally applied systems for the control and delimitation of discourse: Censorship: rules of exclusion prohibit speaking about certain objects (sexuality. its form. literary. This is accomplished. finalised" (153). but . or discussed"(152). economic practices. firstly. the will to truth. secondly. . religious. that is the "manner in which knowledge is employed in a society. the possibilities for extrapolation being endless and for new (really old) discourse infinite. and . its object and its relation to what it referred to" (150). a certain position. learned societies and laboratories) and "institutional distribution" (151).e. Foucault’s point is that originality is impossible and intertextuality is inevitable. The rules include: Intertextual Repetition: Foucault’s term for this is "commentary" (152) (i. or politics). and a certain function" (151). observable. rules concerned with the principles of classification. the way in which it is exploited. paradoxically. This is because discourse is "incapable of recognising the will to truth which pervades it" (151) and which makes it difficult for us to realise the "prodigious machinery of the will to truth. This is why. . arrange certain rituals and circumstances in which it is permissible to do so. each text is a commentary on earlier texts) as a result of which discourse takes the form of an "identity and sameness" (153).’ Foucault has in mind the process whereby “discourse exercises its own control. By ‘internal. of revealing some hidden truth. Speech is not the mere "verbalisation of conflicts and systems of domination. for example. the publishing industry. in the plausible" [151]). for example. the mutations which comprise the history of science are due not to discoveries. Foucault argues alluding to Kuhn’s notion of paradigm shifts. these are "forms of discourse that lie at the origins of a certain number of new verbal acts. is the very object of man's conflicts" The Fabrication of Divisions: a distinction is drawn between reason and madness: a "man was mad if his speech could not be said to form part of the common discourse of men. measurable and classifiable objects" (151) and "imposed upon the knowing subject . but to the "appearance of new forms of the will to truth" (151) which sketch out the "schema of possible. . . Foucault argues that every society has its "major narratives" (152) privileged for "some hidden secret or wealth" (152) that allegedly "lies buried within" (152) them. divided. transformed. in some way. ordering and distribution" (152). The will to truth is subtended by both "institutional support" (151) (pedagogical systems. . with its vocation of exclusion" (151). Whether. This will to knowledge exercises a "power of constraint upon other forms of discourse" (151) such as literature (which has long sought to base itself upon "nature. the book-system.Foucault suggests that the production of discourse is controlled via a number of procedures. from truth as functional to truth as an abstract immutable category. enunciation to settle on what was enunciated itself: its meaning. of predicting the future" [150]). but on condition that it is the text itself which is uttered and.

. by virtue of some principle of coherence or systematisation. it must fulfill certain conditions other than mere truth: it must refer to a specifically delimited range of objects and it must utilise certain "conceptual instruments and techniques of a welldefined type" (154).Authorship: By author. its coherence. the interplay of rules and definitions. but within a narrow framework" (153) objects of knowledge. their "identity" (153). that is. However. Disciplines are "defined by groups of objects. as the seat of their coherence" (153). For a proposition to belong to a discipline. A discipline is neither the "sum total of all truths that may be uttered concerning something" (154) nor the "total of all that may be accepted. by contrast. of techniques and tools: all these constitute a sort of anonymous system . since the seventeenth century. lying at the origins of their significance. methods. The concept of authorship has functioned differently at various stages of history: in the Middle Ages. The point of departure for any discipline is not "some meaning which must be rediscovered . in the form of an individuality or I. . Foucault has in mind the "organisation of disciplines" (153) which "enables us to construct. Foucault has in mind not the individual per se who wrote the text in question but the "unifying principle in a particular group of writings or statements. without there being any question of their meaning or their validity being derived from whoever happened to invent them" (153-4). it is that which is required for the construction of new statements" (154). . their corpus of propositions considered to be true. concerning some given fact or proposition" (154) because all disciplines contain errors that are as indispensable to its constitution as truths are. its links with reality" (153) Discursive Formations: by this. . the author's importance has increased steadily in literature and. which unites a body of writing. The author in modern literature provides "its unities. the index of truth in scientific discourse was the sanctity of the author while the author was relatively unimportant in literary texts. . decreased in importance in scientific discourse.