Discourse Theory as Critical Media Politics? Five Questions

  • Lincoln Dahlberg


Discourse theory is, at its core, a theory of politics: of the hegemonic formation of social relations — of discourses — that necessarily involve hierarchies of power and relations of inclusion and exclusion. As such, discourse is, in essence, political. And since discursive articulations and contestations rely on forms of mediation, ranging from body language to mass media representations, discourse theory can be thought of as fundamentally about media politics. Moreover, given its commitment to an examination of the discursive configurations of power constituting social relations, and its identification of practical strategies for changing such configurations, discourse theory can be understood as offering an approach to the critique of media politics, and indeed an approach to doing critical media politics.


Public Sphere Radical Contingency Discourse Theory Normative Consensus Empty Signifier 
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© Lincoln Dahlberg 2011

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  • Lincoln Dahlberg

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