Overcoming the post-structuralist methodolocial deficit – metapragmatic markers and interpretive logics in a critique of the Bologna process

Jan Zienkowski

Abstract

This paper argues for an integration of post-structuralist and linguistic pragmatic perspectives on discourse as a response to the post-structuralist methodological deficit. In order to make his argument, the author presents and illustrates the logics approach to discourse, subjectivity and hegemony as presented by Jason Glynos and David Howarth. This post-structuralist approach constitutes a response to the methodological deficit that haunts much of post-structuralist discourse theory. Nevertheless, it does not provide a linguistic toolbox for analysis. Zienkowski argues that the logics approach can be brought to bear on empirical analysis through the notion of metapragmatic markers. These are linguistic tools that allow us to investigate the self-interpretations of individuals. The practical relevance of using metapragmatic markers in the identification of interpretive logics will be illustrated by means of an analysis of a critical response to the implementation of the Bologna process in Germany. Zienkowski studies Dietrich Lemke’s critical article called Mourning Bologna published in a special issue of E-flux journal n° 14 devoted to the Bologna process. More specifically, he investigates how Lemke constructs his critical stance. Throughout this process, Zienkowski proposes an interpretive and functionalist heuristic for identifying the interpretive logics operative in his text by means of a functional analysis of metapragmatic markers. He concludes with an argument for integrating both perspectives while emphasising that any articulation of post-structuralist and linguistic pragmatic theories of discourse involves some significant reconsiderations with respect to the indexical and differential theories of meaning that characterise each perspective respectively.

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