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Discourse Studies – Ways and Crossroads

Insights into Cultural, Diachronic and Genre Issues in the Discipline


Edited By Karolina Bros and Grzegorz Kowalski

The volume brings together papers emerging from the GlobE conference (University of Warsaw). The authors explore major topics in Discourse Studies, offering insights into the field’s theoretical foundations and discussing the results of its empirical applications. The book integrates different lines of research in Discourse Studies as undertaken at academic centres Europe-wide and beyond. In this diversity, the editors identify certain dominant lines of study, including (new) media discourse, political discourse in the age of social/digital media, or professional discourse in globalized workplace contexts. At the same time, the volume shows that Discourse Studies not only investigate emerging language phenomena, but also critically reassess research issues formerly addressed.

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Knowledge, power and order as constituents of public discourse (Małgorzata Rzeszutko-Iwan)


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Małgorzata Rzeszutko-Iwan

Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland

Knowledge, power and order as constituents of public discourse

Abstract: The aim of this article is to present how the categories of knowledge, power and order function in public discourse based on judicial and media discourses. The theoretical underpinnings of the study are the works of the philosopher Michel Foucault. Specifically, the category of order is manifested in three areas: symbolic, non-verbal and verbal. Knowledge is understood as searching for the truth and the interpretation of the truth, as well as revealing the truth. Finally, the category of power takes on institutional meaning, which is either literal or linguistic (symbolic). Following Foucault, the relationship between the three categories can be described as follows. The immanent order manifests itself through knowledge and power, and the latter categories, in turn, constitute and create a discourse which plays a significant role of an institutional tool used to maintain internal order in a given institution. This kind of discourse guarantees consistent relationships between subjects: situational, contextual and thematic relationships on the one hand, and ideological, axiological and social ones on the other.

1. Introduction

Since the dawn of humanity, the categories of knowledge and power have aroused, and still arouse, a lot of emotion and controversy.1 They function in public discourse, with public understood here as related to the concept of public space2, itself understood as any places commonly available free of...

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