Many of today’s discourse analytical approaches have either been inspired by structuralist social and linguistic theories (e.g. Foucaultian Discourse Analysis, Governmentality Research, SKAD and so forth) or have emerged as reactions to the inconsistencies identified within structuralist theorizing (e.g. Critical Discourse Analysis; Discourse Analysis after Structuralism; PDA and so on). Generally speaking, these different positions toward structuralist thought have given rise to “structuralist” and “post-structuralist” discourse theories. However, this juxtaposition of structuralism and post-structuralism is misleading because most of the so-called post-structural discourse theories also operate within the general epistemic horizon of structuralism. Take for instance PDA, an analytical approach commonly referred to as a paragon of post-structural discourse analysis. As subsequent chapters will illustrate, PDA does not move beyond a relational ontology of meaning, which constitutes the ruling principle of structuralism (cf. Deleuze, 1992; Stäheli, 2000b, p. 16). Instead, PDA is based upon the assumption that an object’s conceived meaningfulness can only originate from the discourse — that is the relational arrangement of meaning-conveying objects — in which the so-called practices of articulation locate this object.
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