Theories On Discourse Ideology English Language Essay


Language, which makes us the "Crown of Creatures", empowers us with an expressive medium which we exploit to connect, understand, interpret, negate, recognize, appreciate, influence, persuade, dominate, control, etc. Metaphorically speaking, words helps us to caress and comfort our thoughts, excite and thrill our heart, rattle our nerves, kill our desire, and so on. Vocabulary is a variegated sensation. It can psychologically move and influence us as powerfully as physical activities. This is actually the power of vocabulary.

1. 1 What's Discourse?

The word discourse has been derived from French phrase discours signifying 'discussion. ' In linguistics, discourse is "a series of utterances. " Grammarians define discourse as "large bits of speech and writing: stretches of language much longer than a sentence. "

Language is utilized to 'imply' something and to 'do' something, and this 'interpretation and doing' is determined by the context of its consumption. As discourse is dialogic in dynamics, the things which make it different from ordinary terminology use are context, creation, reception and interpretation. It should not be puzzled with either of the Chomsky's or Saussure's categories. It is neither performance or parole which is concerned with dialect in its real utterances, nor competence or languewhere language is a code system and something of communicative conventions. Though it contains both elements, it goes beyond the distinction of performance or parole and competence or langue; it is the study of 'terms use. ' If terminology is 'speech work' and sociable action, discourse is a kind of 'cultural practice. '

Foucault defines discourse as

"ways of constituting knowledge, alongside the social practices, varieties of subjectivity and electricity relationships which inhere in such knowledges and relations between them. Discourses tend to be than ways of thinking and producing interpretation. They constitute the type of the body, unconscious and mindful mind and mental life of the topics they seek to govern. " (Weedon, 1987)

" a form of power that circulates in the communal field and can put on strategies of domination as well as those of level of resistance. " (Gemstone & Quinby, 1988)

To put it differently, discourse is a 'string of utterances' worried about the creation of meaning. Discourse is a socially planned way of speaking. According to Foucault, discourse constructs this issue. It governs what can and can't be said about the topic.

Apart from governing the topic, it is also used to influence people to change ideas into practice (whether it be personal or others ideas), and to regulate the carry out of others. As discourse is concerned with the 'creation of so this means, ' the utterances have a relation to 'common sense assumptions. ' Cultural hegemony is retained through 'common sense assumptions' which become 'widespread ideologies' through language or in other words 'discourse. '

"Terms exerts hidden electricity, such as a moon on the tides. " (Rita Mae Brown, Starting from Scuff, 1998)

1. 2 What is Ideology?

Ideologies are those ideas, worth, attitudes, and (basic or social) ways of thinking that condition our 'notion systems' and 'head sets' about what is /isn't accurate, and exactly how it must be. Ideologies, be they religious or political or interpersonal, maintain power structures and public hierarchies and stay dominant and common in the population through rhetorical discourse or concealed power in discourse.

The primary purpose of ideology is not only to change the prevailing set ups, but also to keep already existing 'place of ideals. ' Ideas, values, and attitudes which 'maintain position quo' become dominant or prevalent ideologies of the world. These ideologies are so powerful that they dismiss and sideline those ideas that are against its very presence by using a normative thought process and politics of the terms.

Ideologies when become 'shared activities' start making sense. People start making sense with their lives while watching them. In other words, they are no more false beliefs and ideas, alternatively a true and 'lived experience. '


The sociable theory has contributed in many ways to explore the role of language in exercising, preserving and changing vitality. Firstly, the work in the idea of ideology talks about 'ideology as a mechanism of ability' without needing coercive means and vocabulary 'as a locus of ideology' which is significant in working out power. Subsequently, Michel Foucault's work ascribes "central role to discourse" in the development of power structures of forms. Thirdly, Jurgen Habermas' "theory of communicative action" - which issues Marxist concentrate on economics or alienated labor- is recognized as the sole determining factor of oppression. He argues that key to liberation is rather found in words and communication between people.

2. 1 Marx and Ideology

Karl Potential, a communal thinker of 19th hundred years, talked of ideology in conditions of 'an tool of social development. ' He gave 'economic foundation and superstructure style of modern culture, ' where basic denotes the relation of production and superstructure denotes the dominant ideology. Base styles the superstructure of any culture, as the superstructure maintains and legitimates the bottom.

Regarding to Marx, bourgeoisie create and reinforce particular 'ways of pondering', in other words, particular ideology which reinforce the framework of the world, thus retaining status quo and existing hierarchies of position and electricity.

Fig. 1: Marx's Foundation & Superstructure Model of Society

Corresponding to Karl Marx, cultural ideologies not only cause position quo or hegemony in the population, but also a 'conditioning' where 'false awareness' created by the ruling class is justified. This conditioning makes us think that just how our society manages is for the best, and lower course justifies its own lower position in society.

Michel Foucault in "The Order of Discourse"

In "The Order of Discourse, " Foucault argues that the discourse is managed by certain functions, activities and rules. Specifically, certain subject areas are prohibited and who talks is bound. Reason is valued and madness is ignored. Additionally it is controlled with what we choose to touch upon and by the will to truth.

"[T]he highest fact no more resided in what discourse was or does, but in what is said: a day came when fact was displaced by from the ritualized, efficacious, and just action of enunciation, towards the utterance itself, its so this means, its form, its subject, its relation to its research. " (1462)

"Atlanta divorce attorneys society, the creation of discourse is at once controlled, decided on, planned and redistributed by a certain amount of types of procedures whose role is to ward off its powers and dangers, to gain mastery over its chance situations, to evade its ponderous, formidable materiality" (p. 210).

Foucault also talks about "techniques of exclusion" and procedures of inclusion. He states that prohibition of including or talking about certain issues "very soon reveal [discourse's] link with desire and with electric power" (p. 211).

At another place he says that "discourse is not only whatever translates problems or systems of domination, but is finished. that and by which there is certainly struggle; discourse is the power which is to be seized" (p. 211).

In Weedon's (1987) in interpretation of Foucault is

"A active of control between discourses and the topics, constituted by discourses, who are their brokers. Electric power is exercised within discourses in the ways in which they constitute and govern individual subjects. "

Foucault's emphasis is after questions of how some discourses have formed and created meaning systems which have gained the position and currency of 'real truth', and dominate how we define and set up both ourselves and our cultural world, whilst other substitute discourses are marginalised and subjugated, yet potentially 'offer' sites where hegemonic techniques can be contested, challenged and 'resisted'.

Foucault developed the concept of the 'discursive field' within his try to understand the relationship between language, communal establishments, subjectivity and ability. Discursive fields, such as the legislation or the family, contain a amount of competing and contradictory discourses with varying degrees of capacity to give interpretation to and set up social companies and processes. They also 'offer' a range of modes of subjectivity (Weedon, 1987). It employs then that,

"if relationships of vitality are dispersed and fragmented throughout the communal field, so must resistance to electricity be" (Gemstone & Quinby, 1988).

Foucault argues though, in The Order of Discourse, that the 'will to truth' is the major system of exclusion that forges discourse and which 'is inclined to exert a sort of pressure then one like a vitality of constraint on other discourses', and continues on further to ask the question 'what reaches stake in the will to real truth, in the will to utter this 'true' discourse, if not desire and power?' (1970, cited in Shapiro 1984, p. 113-4).

Thus, there are both discourses that constrain the creation of knowledge, dissent and difference and some that enable 'new' knowledges and difference(s). The questions that come up within this construction, are to do with how some discourses maintain their specialist, how some 'voices' get observed whilst others are silenced, who benefits and exactly how - that is, questions responding to issues of ability/ empowerment/ disempowerment.

2. 3 Louis Althusser's view of Ideology

Louis Althusser builds on the work of Jacques Lacan to comprehend just how ideology functions in contemporary society. He thus moves away from the sooner Marxist knowledge of ideology. In the earlier model, ideology was believed to create what was termed "false awareness, " a false understanding of what sort of world functioned (for example, the suppression of the fact that the products we purchase on the wide open market are, in truth, the result of the exploitation of laborers).

Althusser revised Marx's view of ideology, which he described as

". . . thought as an imaginary engineering whose status is exactly like the theoretical position of the goal among authors before Freud. "

He observed individuals individuals being constituted as subjects through ideology. Awareness and firm are experienced, but will be the products of ideology 'speaking through' the subject. Above all, ideology can be an imaginary structure that represents real life. However, it is so real to us that people never question it.

Althusser posits a series of hypotheses that he explores to clarify his understanding of ideology

"Ideology represents the imaginary marriage of individuals to their real conditions of existence" (Lenin 109).

The standard thought process of ideology led Marxists to show how ideologies are false by directing to real life hidden by ideology (for example, the "real" monetary foundation for ideology). Regarding to Althusser, by contrast, ideology will not "reflect" the real world but "presents" the "imaginary romance of individuals" to real life; finished. ideology (mis)represents is itself already at one remove from the real. Within this, Althusser employs the Lacanian knowledge of the imaginary order, which is itself at one step taken off the Lacanian Real. Quite simply, our company is always within ideology because of the reliance on vocabulary to establish our "reality"; different ideologies are but different representations of the social and imaginary "reality" not really a representation of the Real itself.

"Ideology has a materials presence" (Lenin 112).

Althusser contends that ideology has a material existence because "an ideology always is present in an equipment, and its practice, or procedures" (Lenin 112). Ideology always manifests itself through activities, that happen to be "inserted into practices" (Lenin 114), for example, rituals, normal behavior, etc. It is our performance of our own relation to others and to social organizations that regularly instantiates us as content. Judith Butler's understanding of performativity could be reported to be strongly influenced by this way of thinking about ideology.

"all ideology hails or interpellates concrete individuals as concrete subjects" (Lenin 115).

Matching to Althusser, the primary purpose of ideology is within "'constituting' concrete individuals as subject matter" (Lenin 116). So pervasive is ideology in its constitution of themes that it forms our very simple fact and thus seems to us as "true" or "obvious. " Althusser gives the example of the "hello" on a streets: "the rituals of ideological acknowledgement [. . . ] assurance for us that we are indeed concrete, individual, distinguishable and (normally) irreplaceable content" (Lenin 117). Through "interpellation, " individuals are turned into content (which are always ideological).

Althusser's example is the hail from a police officer: "'Hey, you there!'" (Lenin 118): "Assuming that the theoretical arena I have dreamed takes place in the street, the hailed person will turn round. By this mere one-hundred-and-eighty-degree physical alteration, he becomes a subject" (Lenin 118). The actual fact that people do not realize this connections as ideological speaks to the power of ideology

what thus seems to take place exterior ideology (to be specific, in the street), the truth is occurs in ideology [. . . . ] That's the reason those who are in ideology consider themselves by description outside ideology: one of the effects of ideology is the functional denegation of the ideological persona of ideology by ideology: ideology never says, "I am ideological. " (Lenin 118)

"individuals are always-already content" (Lenin 119).

Although he presents his exemplory case of interpellation in a temporal form (I am interpellated and therefore I become a subject, I type in ideology), Althusser makes it clear that the "becoming-subject" happens even before we have been created. "This proposition might seem to be paradoxical" (Lenin 119), Althusser admits; nevertheless, "An specific is always-already a topic, even before he's given birth to, is [. . . ] the simple certainty, accessible to everyone rather than a paradox at all" (Lenin 119). Even prior to the child exists, "it is for certain beforehand that it'll endure its Father's Name, and will therefore provide an identity and become irreplaceable. Before its beginning, the kid is therefore always-already a topic, appointed as a subject in and by the precise familial ideological configuration in which it is 'expected' once it has been conceived" (Lenin119). Althusser thus once more invokes Lacan's ideas, in this case Lacan's knowledge of the "Name-of-the-Father. "

Most topics accept their ideological self-constitution as "fact" or "characteristics" and therefore almost never run afoul of the repressive Point out apparatus, which was created to punish anyone who rejects the prominent ideology. Hegemony is thus reliant less on such repressive Condition apparatuses as the police than it is on those Ideological Point out Apparatuses (ISAs) by which ideology is inculcated in every subjects. (Start to see the next component for a conclusion of ISAs. ) As Althusser places it, "the average person is interpellated as a (free) subject in order that he shall send widely to the commandments of the Subject, i. e. to ensure that he shall (widely) admit his subjection, i. e. to ensure that he shall make the gestures and actions of his subjection 'all by himself'" (Lenin 123).

Louis Althusser's ISA

Althusser suggested a materialistic conception of ideology, which used a special type of discourse: the lacunar discourse. A number of propositions, which should never be untrue, suggest a number of other propositions, which can be true. In this way, the substance of the lacunar discourse is what's not informed (but is recommended).

For Althusser, values and ideas are the products of cultural techniques, not the reverse. What is ultimately very important to Althusser aren't the subjective beliefs held in the 'heads' of human being individuals, but rather the material companies, rituals and discourses that produce these values.

Althusser discovered the Ideological State Apparatus (ISA) as the technique by which organizations propagate ideology largely. Violence or risk of violence is extra. ISA's for Althusser were religious, educational, family, ethnical institutions. That is as opposed to the Repressive Condition Apparatus (RSA), by which compliance can be forced and includes the army, police, authorities, prisons. Power or risk of force is most important, while ideology is secondary. For instance, arrest imprisonment, corporal consequence, etc.

2. 4 Discourse as Public Practice

Social relations of ability and domination are sustained through ideology. To Fairclough, ideologies construct realities which give indicating to discursive methods. Through power relations implicit in purchases of discourse, discourse becomes spent ideologically. Hence the discursive practices, loaded with ideologies not only produce, but also reproduce or transform social identities, social relationships and systems of knowledge and notion.

2. 4. 1 Fairclough and Ideology:

You will discover two means of exercising power: through coercion and through consent. Regarding to Fairclough, "Ideology is the main element mechanism of rule by consent, " and discourse is a "favored vehicle of ideology. " It functions to determine, maintain or change domination or power relations in the modern culture. For Fairclough, ideologies are constructions of reality which are designed into various measurements of the forms and meanings of discursive techniques. Through power relationships implicit in purchases of discourse, discourse becomes invested ideologically. Through being ideologically spent, discourse is a method of producing, reproducing or changing social identities, sociable relations, and systems of knowledge and belief.

Fairclough (1992) makes three statements about ideology, based in part on the French Marxist philosopher, Althusser

Ideology has a material basis in the public practices of organizations. As a form of cultural practice, discourse tactics are material types of ideology.

Ideology 'interpellates topics'. It works by constituting people as subject matter within the construction of ideology. Patriarchal ideology interpellates individuals as more powerful men or less powerful women. Racist ideology interpellates teams as 'ourselves' and 'the Other' (see Hall 1997 'The Spectacle of the Other').

Ideology functions through powerful 'ideological point out apparatuses'. Althusser contrasts what he terms the repressive companies of the authorities, the military, prisons and the courts, with the ideological status apparatuses of the mass media, education and popular culture. In Fairclough's theory, all of these bring about institutional and societal purchases of discourse (the societal order of discourse is a condensation of the institutional orders of discourse).

2. 4. 2 Fairclough and Discourse

Discourse requires two kinds of public conditions: communal conditions of creation and social conditions of interpretation. These interpersonal conditions are naturalized through the ideological working of the procedures of dominant class. Fairclough describes root conventions of discourse - which in fact determines discourse - in conditions of what Foucault identifies as 'requests of discourse. ' To Fairclough, these purchases of discourse embody particular ideologies.

Fairclough refers to the three measurements of discourse. These are discursive practice (discourse practice), communal practice (socio-cultural practice), and word.

Social practice includes discourse which not only displays actuality, but also effect public constructions which play productive role in sociable change. Different subject positions determine different discoursal protection under the law and obligations of people.

Discourse practice identifies the development and reception of announcements. Individuals indulged in discourse create their sociable identities and relations by knowing 'how to respond' using situations. For this participants attract on what Fairclough identifies as 'associates' resources' (MR). This include internalized knowledge of social structure and social techniques; knowledge about creation and interpretation of discourse types; and comprehensive understanding of particular linguistics and textual structuring devices.

Text is the record of any 'communicative event'. It could be written, spoken or visual. While analyzing text in conditions of ideologies inserted in it, a couple of things are very important: first of all, representation of ideological facts and values and construction of participant identities (copy writer and reader), and subsequently, textual function which structures the communication.

3. How Ideologies are Embedded in Words

Language produces, retains and changes public relations of electricity. It also plays a part in the domination of a lot of people by others. Ability is exercised through terminology in conversations and other kinds of text or have a discussion. When people interact linguistically, the traditional chat embodies "common sense" assumptions where electric power structures are cared for as 'legitimized. ' Relating to Fairclough, these assumptions are ideologies which are closely associated with power and words. Power relationships determine the traditional ideological assumptions, which legitimize existing sociable relationships and unequal electric power.

Language, a sociable behavior, depends on 'common sense assumptions. '

"The exercise of ability in modern society is more and more achieved through ideology, and more specifically through the ideological working of the language. " (Fairclough, 1989)

Further he says, "Ideology is the leading means of making consent. "

3. 1 Recollection Resources

Ideological assumptions are mere "good sense" assumptions, and contribute to sustain existing power relationships. To Fairclough, these common sense assumptions are "memory resources" (MR). when sender encodes a note, the receiver not only decodes it, but also interpret it by looking at and contrasting 'features of utterances' with representations stored in long-term memory. Fairclough identifies these prototypes as 'member resources': grammatical varieties, structures, designs of words, collection of situations, systems of so this means, sounds, etc. Discussion between interpreted utterance and MR results comprehension.

According to Fairclough, understanding how language, electric power, and ideology are interrelated requires "focus on the processes of production and understanding" because MR/ representations/ prototypes are "socially identified and ideologically formed. " These are so intelligent, natural, reliable and 'common sense' assumptions that they remain in disguise.

The sociologist Harold Garfinkel, details 'the familiar common sense world of day-to-day life' as a world which is made entirely after assumptions and objectives which control both action of people of world and their interpretation of the action of others. Such assumptions and goals are implicit, again grounded, overlooked, not things that individuals are consciously alert to and hardly ever explicit. Performance of ideology will depend on to a considerable degree onto it being merged with this common sense track record to discourse and other types of cultural action.

3. 2 Dialect Ideologies in Text

Terms ideologies are not only ways of detailing language and words use for financial reasons, but will be the terms 'ideas' of the dominating groups in modern culture. They may evenly be inter-changed with 'discourses about vocabulary. ' Ideologies are not 'untrue' - indeed, like stereotypes, there could be a amount of fact in them.

Ideology is to review its results on discourse forms and meanings and exactly how discursive structures may subsequently contribute to the development and change of ideologies. However, ideologies are also at play when words users engage in the ongoing development of framework as subjective, as well as group sensitive, interpretations of public situations.

While discussing ideologies inlayed in text, we can say that genre of discourse is a level of terms use which is super-ordinate to phrases and texts. Content material is not at all something having a start and a finish. It consists of exchange of meanings. Word are manufactured by audio system and freelance writers who share society's beliefs involving 'what is right' and 'what is wrong' or about 'the way things should be for the best' in world. When they want to keep their opinion systems or ideologies, they take the help of words. These ideologies remain implicit in the text as they appear natural or 'common sense'. The ideologically packed language of the text grants or loans it the ideological power. Such langue has 'judgmental value' and 'meaning' as well. Many ideologically loaded words have their judgemental value because their interpretation is logical. They can be found as 'binary pairs': 'get good at/mistress', 'housewife/working mom', 'middle class/working class', 'independence fighter/terrorist', 'hero/coward', etc. Some linguists maintain that language - all interpretation - is an 'ideological construct'.

Pursuing are few texts which are related to public problems for one and social beliefs for the other. Quite simply, they contain sociable ideologies that are neutralized in the world.


Long-range public changes are powered by changes in ideology. But at an area level, change in actual discourse tactics can be cumulative in effect. Both discourse and ideology derive from the relationship between power and knowledge.

'We tend to think of knowledge as empowering ourselves' (Sarup, 1993).

Besides this, knowledge is the ability to exercise electricity over others. So, power is both positive (profitable in creating identities), and negative (destroy identities). In profitable power, one is not reduced to 1 dimension just as ideologies and ability is not kept by one individual or group once and for all. Rather, it is available as a circuit, something is 'exercised' by everyone in different situations. As where there is electricity there is always resistance, ability can be challenged.

We might not say certain things using situations, but by 'breaking the rules', we can re-define the boundaries of discourse. Hence, redefining the limitations of discourse is something productive about ability.

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)