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The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation$
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Wolfgang Merkel, Raj Kollmorgen, and Hans-Jürgen Wagener

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829911.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 June 2021

Discourse Approaches

Discourse Approaches

(p.212) Chapter 21 Discourse Approaches
The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation

Johannes Angermuller

Raj Kollmorgen

Oxford University Press

As a practice of meaning making in society, discourse points to important dimensions of social and historical change. This chapter discusses examples of discourse research on social transformation in Central and Eastern Europe. It shows how methods from linguistic, semiotic, and cultural theory can be used to account for a changing social order (e.g., how change is narrated in Russia during the perestroika period or how Eastern Germans are represented in Western media discourse after the reunification). Against a background in Discourse Studies, we put special emphasis on macrosociological views of discursive change, which one can find, for instance, in Foucault’s power/knowledge approach, Laclau/Mouffian hegemony analysis, and Critical Discourse Analysis. The chapter concludes by pointing out the strengths as well as the limits of discourse research, which is based on the idea that language not only represents social realities but, through representation, also contributes to creating them.

Keywords:   discourse analysis, discourse theory, linguistic theory, semiotic theory, cultural theory, Critical Discourse Analysis, Michel Foucault, Ernesto Laclau, Norman Fairclough, Central and Eastern Europe

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