GV988-7-FY-CO:
Ideology and Political Discourse

The details
2019/20
Government
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Postgraduate: Level 7
Current
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
30
13 August 2019

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

MA L20212 Ideology and Discourse Analysis

Module description

This module introduces, develops, and critically engages key strands of poststructuralist discourse theory, including post-marxism, deconstruction, structural linguistics, and psychoanalytic theory.

In particular, it clarifies key theoretical categories by examining their associated conceptual frameworks and presuppositions, by probing their value for political analysis and ideological critique, and by exploring their usefulness in relation to selected case illustrations. The module also engages with a set of contemporary debates in political and social theory, for which the categories of discourse and matter have become central.

Using the economy and related contemporary debates (e.g. about the global financial crisis and public service reforms) as a central theme and reference point, it engages with the work of scholars who draw on a wide range of sources, including psychoanalysis, post-Marxism, contemporary continental philosophy, and actor network theory, focusing on the analytical insights these perspectives generate, the visions they project, as well as their take on the prospects for political action and ideological critique.

Module aims

This module has two principal aims. First, it introduces, develops, and critically engages key strands of poststructuralist discourse theory, including post-marxism, deconstruction, structural linguistics, and psychoanalytic theory.

In particular, it clarifies key theoretical categories by examining their associated conceptual frameworks and presuppositions, by probing their value for political analysis and ideological critique, and by exploring their usefulness in relation to selected case illustrations. Second, the module engages with a set of contemporary debates in political and social theory, for which the categories of discourse and matter have become central.

Using the economy and related contemporary debates (e.g. about the global financial crisis and public service reforms) as a central theme and reference point, it engages with the work of scholars who draw on a wide range of sources, including psychoanalysis, post-Marxism, contemporary continental philosophy, and actor network theory, focusing on the analytical insights these perspectives

Module learning outcomes

On completing this module, students should have a good understanding of different approaches to ideology and discourse analysis; the ability to engage critically with the key texts and concepts discussed in the module; and the capacity to initiate independent research from a discourse theory perspective.

Module information

This module has two principal aims. First, it introduces, develops, and critically engages key strands of poststructuralist discourse theory, including post-marxism, deconstruction, structural linguistics, and psychoanalytic theory. In particular, it clarifies key theoretical categories by examining their associated conceptual frameworks and presuppositions, by probing their value for political analysis and ideological critique, and by exploring their usefulness in relation to selected case illustrations. Second, the module engages with a set of contemporary debates in political and social theory, for which the categories of discourse and ideology have become central. In particular, we shall explore the the intersecting logics of hegemony, populism and radical democracy, and placing their emergence and interaction in the contemporary world.

On completing this module, students should have a good understanding of different approaches to ideology and discourse analysis; the ability to engage critically with the key texts and concepts discussed in the module; and the capacity to initiate independent research from a discourse theory perspective.

Learning and teaching methods

Teaching format will vary from week to week, but in general will feature a combination of lectures, seminar discussions, student presentations, and other activities. Members of the seminar are expected to prepare for each seminar by reading the essential texts.

Bibliography

  • Glynos, Jason. (2001-06) 'The grip of ideology: A Lacanian approach to the theory of ideology', in Journal of Political Ideologies. vol. 6 (2) , pp.191-214
  • Ernesto Laclau & Chantal Mouffe, Post-Marxism Without Apologies, NLR I/166, November–December 1987, https://0-newleftreview-org.serlib0.essex.ac.uk/issues/I166/articles/ernesto-laclau-chantal-mouffe-post-marxism-without-apologies
  • Laclau, Ernesto. (1996) Emancipation(s), London: Verso.
  • (©2015) Structures of feeling: affectivity and the study of culture, Boston: De Gruyter. vol. volume 5
  • Goodin, Robert E; Pettit, Philip; Pogge, Thomas. (2007) A companion to contemporary political philosophy, Malden, MA: Blackwell.
  • Gramsci, Antonio; Hoare, Quintin; Nowell-Smith, Geoffrey. (1971) Selections from the prison notebooks of Antonio Gramsci, London: Lawrence & Wishart.
  • Laclau, Ernesto. (2007) 'Discourse', in A companion to contemporary political philosophy, Malden, MA: Blackwell., pp.541-547
  • Laclau, E. (2008) Philosophical Roots of Discourse Theory.
  • Norval, Aletta J. (2004-06) 'Hegemony after deconstruction: the consequences of undecidability', in Journal of Political Ideologies. vol. 9 (2) , pp.139-157
  • Simon, Roger. (©2015) Gramsci's political thought: an introduction, London: Lawrence & Wishart.
  • Howarth, David R. (2000) Discourse, Buckingham: Open University Press.
  • Fink, Bruce. (1997) A clinical introduction to Lacanian psychoanalysis: theory and technique, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
  • Glynos, Jason; Howarth, David R. (2007) Logics of critical explanation in social and political theory, Abington: Routledge.
  • Gasché, Rodolphe. (1986) The tain of the mirror: Derrida and the philosophy of reflection, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Freud, Sigmund; Strachey, James; Richards, Angela. (1984) On metapsychology: the theory of psychoanalysis : 'Beyond the pleasure principle,' 'The ego and the id' and other works, Harmondsworth: Penguin. vol. v.11
  • Fink, Bruce. (c1995) The Lacanian subject: between language and jouissance, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
  • Williams, Raymond. (1977) Marxism and literature, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Özselçuk, Ceren. (2006-04) 'Mourning, Melancholy, and the Politics of Class Transformation', in Rethinking Marxism. vol. 18 (2) , pp.225-240
  • Barthes, Roland. (©2012) Mythologies, New York: Hill and Wang.
  • Hall, Stuart. (1988) The hard road to renewal: Thatcherism and the crisis of the left, London: Verso.
  • Laclau, Ernesto; Mouffe, Chantal. (2001) Hegemony and socialist strategy: towards a radical democratic politics, London: Verso.
  • Žižek, Slavoj. (1989) The sublime object of ideology, London: Verso.
  • Saussure, Ferdinand de; Culler, Jonathan D; Bally, Charles; Sechehaye, Albert; Riedlinger, Albert. (1974) Course in general linguistics, London: Fontana.
  • Dahlberg, Lincoln; Phelan, Sean. (2011) Discourse theory and critical media politics, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Butler, Judith. (2004) Precarious life: the powers of mourning and violence, London: Verso.
  • Critchley, Simon; Mouffe, Chantal. (1997) Deconstruction and pragmatism, London: Routledge.
  • Howarth, David R.; Stavrakakis, Yannis. (2000) 'Introducing Discourse Theory and Political Analysis', in Discourse theory and political analysis: identities, hegemonies, and social change, Manchester: Manchester University.
  • Althusser, Louis. (©1976) Essays on ideology, London: Verso.
  • Ducrot, Oswald; Todorov, Tzvetan. (1981) Encyclopedic dictionary of the sciences of language, Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Barthes, Roland. (1967) Elements of semiology, London: Cape. vol. 4
  • Laclau, E. (1991) The Impossibility of Society.
  • Lorde, Audre. (©2017) Your silence will not protect you, UK: Silver Press.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Essay 1 13/01/2020 50%
Coursework Essay 2 20/04/2020 50%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Professor David Howarth, Dr Savvas Voutyras
Module Supervisors Professor Jason Glynos ljglyn@essex.ac.uk or Professor David Howarth davidh@essex.ac.uk or Module Administrator Jamie Seakens (govpgquery@essex.ac.uk)

 

Availability
Yes
No
Yes

External examiner

Dr Patrick Bayer
University of Glasgow
Lecturer in International Relations
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 40 hours, 40 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).

 

Further information
Government

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