Space : Irrealis objects and their role in a new political economy

Graham, Philip W. (2007) Space : Irrealis objects and their role in a new political economy. Discourse and Society, 12(6), pp. 761-788.

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In this paper, I show how new spaces are being prefigured for colonisation in the language of contemporary technology policy. Drawing on a corpus of 1.3 million words collected from technology policy centres throughout the world, I show the role of policy language in creating the foundations of an emergent form of political economy. The analysis is informed by principles from critical discourse analysis (CDA) and classical political economy. It foregrounds a functional aspect of language called process metaphor to show how aspects of human activity are prefigured for mass commodification by the manipulation of irrealis spaces. I also show how the fundamental element of any new political economy, the property element, is being largely ignored. The potential creation of a global space as concrete as landed property – electromagnetic spectrum – has significant ramifications for the future of social relations in any global “knowledge economy”.

Impact and interest:

20 citations in Scopus
9 citations in Web of Science®
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51 since deposited on 26 Jul 2011
9 in the past twelve months

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ID Code: 43636
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: irrealis objects
DOI: 10.1177/0957926501012006003
ISBN: 9781412936170
ISSN: 0957-9265
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > OTHER STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (169900)
Divisions: Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Sage Publications
Deposited On: 26 Jul 2011 23:10
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2011 05:25

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