Problems with the Critical Posture? Foucault and Critical Discourse Analysis

Kendall, Gavin P. & Wickham, Gary (2006) Problems with the Critical Posture? Foucault and Critical Discourse Analysis. In Hall, Carly & Hopkinson, Chanel (Eds.) Social Change in the 21st Century 2006, 27th October 2006, Carseldine QUT, Brisbane.

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This paper provides a brief analysis of Michel Foucault’s work on power and governmentality, and mounts the argument that the treatment of these concepts by Foucault is theoretical rather than empirical or historical. Foucault’s approach – a Kantian dialectical approach – allows the social to engulf politics, sovereignty and the state. Ultimately, Foucault follows a Kantian line to a moral critique of society. Given this critical edge to Foucault's work, it is not surprising that endeavours such as critical discourse analysis use Foucault's work to ballast their approach. Like Bruno Latour, however, we suspect that the fascination with social and moral critique is exhausted; and we suspect that the commitment to critique masks the understanding of the critic as an historically specific persona, and disallows – on moral grounds – non-teleological descriptive analyses. Rather than critique critique, however – and risk being hoist by our own petard – our purpose here is an exploration of those who adopt the critical persona.

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ID Code: 6428
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Social Theory, Classical Social Theory, History of Social Theory
ISBN: 1741071291
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > OTHER STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (169900) > Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified (169999)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Social Theory (160806)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Gavin P. Kendall and Gary Wickham
Deposited On: 13 Mar 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:24

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