Article published in:Discourse Theory: Ways forward for theory development and research practice
Edited by Benjamin De Cleen, Jana Goyvaerts, Nico Carpentier, Jason Glynos, Yannis Stavrakakis and Ilija Tomanić Trivundža
[Journal of Language and Politics 20:1] 2021
► pp. 112–128
Doing justice to the agential material
A reflection on a non-hierarchical repositioning of the discursive and the material
Discourse theory has always paid explicit attention to the material dimension of social reality, with, for instance, the dislocation concept attributing an active role to the material. Still, it lacks attention for the specificity of the material-as-material, and tends to attribute a privileged position to the discursive as provider of meaning to these materials. This article argues that there is a need for a critical dialogue between discourse theory and new materialism, leading to the development of non-hierarchical approaches towards the discursive and the material realms. One particular approach, a model that is labelled the discursive-material knot, is proposed and developed in this article. This model expands the discourse-theoretical vocabulary so as to include bridging concepts such as invitation, investment and entextualisation. Moreover, it also allows for the development of new discursive-material research agendas, one of which, in relation to the environment and human-animal relations, is discussed.
Keywords: discourse theory, knot, new materialism, entanglement, dislocation, invitation, investment, entextualisation
Published online: 14 December 2020
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