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Type: Journal article
Title: Reclaiming discursive practices as an analytic focus: political implications
Author: Bacchi, C.
Bonham, J.
Citation: Foucault Studies, 2014; (17):173-192
Publisher: Copenhagen Business School
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 1832-5203
Statement of
Carol Bacchi and Jennifer Bonham
Abstract: This paper has its genesis in concerns about the return to “the real” in social and political theory and analysis. This trend is linked to a reaction against the “linguistic turn”, on the grounds that an exclusive focus on language undercuts political analysis by refusing to engage with “material reality”. Foucault and “discourse” are common targets of this critique. Against this interpretation, the authors direct attention to the analytic and political usefulness of Foucault’s concept of “discursive practices”, which, it argues, has been much misunderstood. Discursive practices, as developed by Foucault, refers to the practices (or operations) of discourses, meaning knowledge formations, not to linguistic practices or language use. The focus is on how knowledge is produced through plural and contingent practices across different sites. Such an approach bridges a symbolic‐material distinction and signals the always political nature of “the real”.
Keywords: Foucault; practices; knowledge; politics; materiality; ontology
Rights: © Carol Bacchi and Jennifer Bonham 2014. The journal is available online, and is free to anyone who wishes to use it. This seems appropriate given the global reach of interest in Foucault and the wide internet usage by Foucault scholars and researchers in general. It also means that the journal is free from external constraints. It is important to note that the journal aspires to the same standards as print journals, and sees the internet as a valuable medium for the dissemination of high-quality rigorous work. All articles published in Foucault Studies have gone through peer-review and standard editorial procedures.
DOI: 10.22439/fs.v0i17.4298
Published version:
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Philosophy publications

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