FOUCAULT ARCHAEOLOGY OF KNOWLEDGE PDF
Also by Michel Foucault. Madness The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings. File:Foucault Michel Archaeology of resourceone.info resourceone.info (file size: MB, MIME type . resourceone.info Michel Foucault's archaeology of knowledge and economic discourse SERHAT KOLOGLUGIL Isik University Abstract: The.
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The Archaeology of Knowledge l. In the domain of historiography, a distinction is made between the ''history of ideas" and ''archaeology" by Michel Foucault. Michel Foucault (). The Archæology of Knowledge. Chapter 1. The Unities of Discourse. Source: The Archaeology of Knowledge (), publ. Routledge. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Foucault, Michel. The archaeology of knowledge. (World of man) Translation of L'archeologie du savoir.
History now organizes the document, divides it up, orders it, distinguishes between what is relevant and what is not, defines unities and describes relations. The document is no longer for history an inert material through which it tries to reconstitute what people have done or said, the events of which only the trace remains.
History is now the work expended on material documentation books, texts, accounts, registers, acts, buildings, institutions, laws, techniques, objects, customs, etc.
Foucault writes: The document is not the fortunate tool of a history that is primarily and fundamentally memory In our time, history is that which transforms documents into monuments. In that area where, in the past, history deciphered the traces left by men, it now deploys a mass of elements that have to be grouped, made relevant, placed in relation to one another to form totalities; it might be said, to play on words a little, that in our time history aspires to the condition of archaeology, to the intrinsic description of the monument Archaeology 7.
This new approach to the document, according to Foucault, has several important consequences, the most important of which is the proliferation of discontinuities in the history of ideas. In place of the continuous chronology of reason, which was invariably traced back to some inaccessible origin, there have appeared scales that are sometimes very brief and distinct from one another, irreducible to a single law, scales that bear a type of history peculiar to each one, and which cannot be reduced to the general model of a consciousness that acquires, progresses, and remembers.
Subsequently, this notion of discontinuity takes on increased importance in modern historical thought.
Michel Foucault's Archeology of Knowledge
The discontinuous is no longer something that the historian has to explain away. Rather, it has become both an instrument and an object of research; it divides up the field of which it is the effect; it enables the historian to individualize different domains but can be established only by comparing those domains.
Discontinuity has become the positive element that determines history's object and validates its analysis. Emerging from this notion of discontinuity is the idea of a general, as opposed to a total, history.
The problem is now to determine what form of relation may be legitimately described between different continuities; what interplay of correlation and dominance exists between them.
In short, not only what series, but what series of series, or "tables" may possibly be drawn up. Whereas a total history draws all phenomena around a single centre a principle, a meaning, a spirit, a worldview, an overall shape a general history deploys the space of a dispersion.
Finally, a number of methodological problems arise out of this new approach to the document: the specification of a method of analysis, the determination of relations that make it possible to characterize a group, and the relation of the 'signifier' signifiant to the 'signified' signifie. But archaeological description is precisely such an abandonment of the history of ideas, a systematic rejection of its postulates and procedures, an attempt to practice quite a different history of what men have said Archaeology Archaeology rejects any notions of fixed unities or syntheses, such as continuity, book, or even oeuvre, in order to focus on the specificity of statements within particular discourses.
It attempts to conceive of the Otherness of the past within the time of our own thought Archaeology Whereas continuous history is the indispensable correlative of the founding function of the subject, in so far as human consciousness is the original subject of all historical development and action, the history of the discontinuous is a questioning of subjectivity in this sense.
In the proposed analysis, instead of referring back to the synthesis or the unifying function of a subject, the various enunciative modalities manifest his dispersion. To the various statuses, the various sites, the various positions that he can occupy or be given when making a discourse. To the discontinuity of the planes from which he speaks Humans have many different modes of speaking and it is impossible, on the level of historical analysis, to form a unity of these or of the speaker.
Foucault, however, does not simply reject subjects outright; rather, he wants to demonstrate that they are not at the origin and centre of all historical processes; his archaeology does not appeal to subjectivity as the source of meaning in the act of speaking. He states that, "the analysis of statements operates The rules of the formation of a discourse, therefore, are to be found within discourse itself Archaeology The analysis of the statement on this level does not pose the question of the speaking subject who exercises sovereign freedom; rather, it is situated at the level of the 'it is said' It is necessarily caught up in the play of an exteriority Archaeology Conversely, the description of statements and of the way in which the enunciative level is organized leads to the individualization of the discursive formations.
The analysis of the statement and of the formation are established correlatively. The fact of its belonging to a discursive formation and the laws that govern it are one and the same thing. Statements, therefore, are groups characterized by their mode of existence within a discourse The discursive practice co-existent with this group of statements called discourse is a body of anonymous, historical rules, determined in the time and space of a given period, and for a given social, economic, geographical, or linguistic area, the conditions of operation of the enunciative function.
This body of rules limits the conditions of discourse's existence in different ways in different times and places; it is context, and yet something more than context. It determines what can and what cannot be said within a particular discursive formation. The discursive formation exists on a level at once different and the same as that of statements, of a distribution of gaps, voids, absences, limits, and divisions.
The rules decide what is "proper" and "improper", but the improper reveals, at the same time as it is shunted aside, those very rules that established it. This explains Foucault's interest in "rare", "marginal" writers. Discourse has its own rules of appearance and its own conditions of appropriation and operation, so that, from the very moment of its existence, it poses the question of power; "an asset that is, by nature, the object of a struggle, a political struggle" Archaeology To describe discourse in accordance with rarity, the dispersion of an exteriority, and a specific form of accumulation is to establish what Foucault calls a positivity Archaeology This positivity constitutes what Foucault calls the historical a priori, which is linked, in Foucault's method, to the idea of the archive.
The historical a priori is the "condition of the reality of statements," the positivity of a discourse, that which characterizes its particular unity throughout a particular discursive time Archaeology The archive is "The general system of the formation and transformation of statements," the "law of what can be said, the system that governs the appearance of statements as unique events" Archaeology and It is within the historical a priori that the discontinuities in discursive formations appear, but it is the archive that is of primary importance in the archaeological method.
Foucault writes: The never completed, never wholly achieved uncovering of the archive forms the general horizon to which the description of discursive formations, the analysis of positivities, the mapping of the enunciative field belong. The right of words - which is not that of the philologists - authorizes, therefore, the use of the term archaeology to describe all these searches.
This term does not imply the search for a beginning; it does not relate analysis to geological excavation. It designates the general theme of a description that questions the already-said at the level of its existence: of the enunciative function that operates within it, of the discursive formation, and the general archive system to which it belongs.
Archaeology describes discourses as practices specified in the element of the archive Archaeology Foucault's work, then, seeks to examine the past on the archaeological level of discourse and the discontinuous as we have described it. In Madness, for example, he examines the emergence at the beginning of the nineteenth century of the discourse called psychiatry.
However, Foucault also finds that this discursive formation manifests itself in legal texts, literature, philosophy, political decisions, and the language of everyday life. The discursive formation whose existence is mapped by the psychiatric discipline went well beyond the bounds of psychiatry.
Furthermore, by going back in time and trying to uncover what could have preceded the establishment of psychiatry, he finds that what had been said on the subject of madness in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, what he calls the Classical period, in no way constituted autonomous disciplines.
Despite this, however, he discovers that a discursive practice was still in existence, and was to be found at the levels of medicine, administration, literature, philosophy, and in the theories or projects of obligatory labour or assistance to the poor. In the Classical period there was a discursive formation and a positivity, nothing like the discipline of psychiatry, which is perfectly accessible to description.
The discursive formations of the past, however, should not be looked upon as merely protosciences. The analysis of Natural History, for example, in Order does not embrace, in a single figure, everything that might be called the proto-science of life.
Foucault's concern is to show that Natural History, far from anticipating a future biology, excluded, by its solidity and autonomy, the constitution of a unitary science of life. Discursive formations, therefore, are not co-extensive with science.
The prime example of this is found in Foucault's examination of clinical medicine in Birth. Nevertheless, this non-science establishes relations between such legitimate sciences as physiology, chemistry, and micro-biology, and also gives rise to such scientific discourses as morbid anatomy.
We can now define more precisely what Foucault's archaeology seeks to uncover - the episteme of the past: By episteme, we mean The episteme is not a form of knowledge connaissance or type of rationality which, crossing the boundaries of the most varied sciences, manifests the sovereign unity of a subject, a spirit, or a period; it is the totality of relations that can be discovered, for a given period, between the sciences when one analyses them at the level of discursive regularities Archaeology The episteme accepts the fact of a science only in order to ask what it is for that science to be a science - in so far as it is a historical practice.
The episteme is the condition of the possibility for a science. According to Foucault there are four such episteme to be discerned in Western history since the Middle Ages. What distinguishes one episteme from another is the changing importance of space over time and time over space within the discourse of each episteme. Foucault describes this change in Order. In the sixteenth century the space and time of the language of the world and of humankind were the same thing.
Knowledge was thus conceived of as the classification of things in terms of Sameness or Resemblance. Language was the theatre of life and the mirror of nature. This was the domain of the signature - of marks, the content indicated by them, and the similitudes that link the marks to the things designated.
Discourse is thus conceived in terms of the written word, which gives rise to two other forms: commentary, which recasts the marks to serve a new purpose; and the text, whose primacy is presupposed by commentary to exist hidden beneath the marks visible to all. All three levels of language are based on the single being of the written word. With the Classical age the idea of space gained importance, and the ideas of Contiguities and Tables of Relationships received increased focus.
A crucial change had taken place which situated language within representation. This was the domain where language offered its own form as the obscure content of reality. Since, in the eighteenth century, language was regarded as timeless, as having no history, and universal, as being governed everywhere by the same grammatical and syntactical rules, then knowledge and its object, man, were also considered in the same timeless and universal terms.
Knowledge thus aspired to the timeless space of tables. In the nineteenth century, however, time became more important, and knowledge was conceived of in terms of Analogies and Successions.
It became evident that the names in tables could be variable in what they designate, and that the taxonomies could not accommodate certain borderline cases of "monsters".
To this I answer, in one word, from experience Locke , 19, emphasis added. For Locke, knowledge can have no other source than experience. He rejects any account of knowledge which makes recourse to innate ideas or concepts that the human mind possesses of its own nature. But, in the midst of these differences, or rather negations, we encounter a fundamental similarity between rationalism and empiricism: the epistemological problem itself.
What brings Descartes and Locke together is not that they both dealt with inquiries concerning human knowledge, but that they both conducted philosophical investigations within the same problematic issues, using as it were the same language, however much they may have differed in the answer they gave. Even Kant, with his synthesis as outlined in his Critique of pure reason, belongs to these problematic issues of classical epistemology.
Once we emancipate our mode of thinking from this particular problematic issue—once we allow ourselves to see the problem of knowledge not as concerned with prescribing universal criteria to attain the true knowledge of things, but as revealing the regularities, rules, and practices which make scientificity itself possible in a particular discipline and at a particular time period—a different problematic set of issues reveals itself.
At this archaeological level Foucault ; ; a; b , as opposed to the epistemological one, the problem is not to prescribe how scientific analysis can reach the truth, but to understand how a particular discourse acquires the status of scientificity, how it creates in itself, so to speak, the conditions of what counts as truth.
In The order of things, Foucault writes: I tried to explore scientific discourse not from the point of view of the individuals who are speaking, nor from the point of view of the formal structures of what they are saying, but from the point of view of the rules that come into play in the very existence of such discourse: what conditions did Linnaeus or Petty, or Arnauld have to fulfill, not to make his discourse coherent and true in general, but to give it, at the time when it was written and accepted, value and practical application as scientific discourse [ Foucault b, xiv.
Knowing things, therefore, cannot be pictured for Foucault as a neutral and innocent practice of the intellect, whose only concern is to get to the truth about reality.
Scientific discourse is part of a broader social whole within which it finds, and if necessary creates, its own conditions of existence; that is, within which it is labeled as scientific. It is these rules of formation, which were never formulated in their own right, but are to be found only in widely differing theories, concepts, and objects of study, that I have tried to reveal, by isolating, as their specific locus, a level that I have called, somewhat arbitrarily perhaps, archaeological Foucault b, xi.
Foucault conceives of these changes not as a continuous progress in the development of scientific truth in which we get ever closer to the true knowledge of things, but as breaks, ruptures, or transformations at the archaeological level. This will pave the way for the discussion on the construction of the economy in the history of economic discourse, because Foucault follows similar lines in his archaeological reading of the history of these different disciplines.
For Kant, the a priori elements of reason have a dual character. They allow human minds to achieve the knowledge of things, i. Kant, in other words, analyzes the conditions of possibility of knowledge in terms of their positivity and negativity: what makes knowledge possible imposes at the same time its limits upon what and how we can know.
This epistemological problem takes on a historical and discursive, i. To the modern mind, this constitution of madness as an illness is nothing but the recognition of an objective reality which will eventually mitigate the sufferings of the mad through appropriate treatment in the asylum Gutting For Foucault, however, the dissolution of the confinement system and the beginning of the asylum life for the mad was based upon the imperative of social control and manipulation of those who did not conform to morals and economic practices of modern bourgeois society.
Michel Foucault's Archaeology of Knowledge
In The birth of clinic, he explains, in a similar fashion, the transformations that occurred in the perception of illness at the turn of modernity. This would allow the doctor to capture the nature of illness more easily; whereas in the hospital where different illnesses would intermingle with each other, the nature of the illness would change through this interaction, making treatment more difficult. Illness, as the object of modern medical science, was stripped of its ideal existence independent of the body and located in particular organs, tissues, and the like.
This development gave rise to the establishment of modern clinical practice in which illness is treated at the hospital at its specific locality in the human body. In his archaeological analysis of psychiatric and medical discourse, Foucault shows that the knowledge relation which the human mind establishes with reality is mediated through historical and discursive elements.
He is rather concerned with understanding upon what historical and discursive a priori structures conditions of scientificity arise; i. It is within such set of problematic issues that the analysis of the discursive constitution of madness and illness acquires its significance. But where exactly does the Foucauldian project of archaeology stand in relation to epistemology, especially when one considers that Foucault is rather reluctant to counterpose the two?
The tension between archaeology and epistemology can be best explored I suggest, along three different lines. Foucault, however, does not pose the problem of knowledge in reference to or from the perspective of an abstract epistemological subject. He is rather interested in understanding the discursive rules of scientificity that the practitioners of science unconsciously adhere to in different historical time periods. The idea of scientific progress where we get closer and closer to the true knowledge of objective reality is displaced, therefore, by the discourse-specificity of our knowledge of things.
For Foucault, in other words, the operation of power in society—for example the social control of those who do not conform to the practices and values of bourgeois society, as mentioned above—is an integral element of claims to knowledge and of the historical production of truth. True, Foucault never problematizes his archaeology in its relation to and tension with epistemology. However, his account of the history of such disciplines as psychiatry and medicine, and economics as I shall try to explicate in the next section, demonstrates that there is much in the problem of knowledge and the actual practices of science that the epistemological framework fails to capture.
The relation between archaeology and the descriptive frameworks of the philosophy of science Lakatosian research program and Kuhnian paradigm is, however, more complicated. It is beyond the scope of this paper to delve into this debate, but allow me to state very briefly that I see both important similarities, as well as differences between these two frameworks.
Just like Kuhn, Foucault maintains that scientific practice includes elements that go beyond epistemologically-authorized norms of scientificity.
This allows him, for example, to explicitly problematize how and with respect to what discursive rules reality is constructed as the object of scientific analysis, a problem that does not arise in the descriptive branch of the philosophy of science. Knowing things in the Renaissance episteme consisted therefore in deciphering the signs imprinted into things which indicated the system of resemblance between them. There exists a sympathy between aconite and our eyes.
This unexpected affinity would remain in obscurity if there were not some signature on the plant [its seeds], some word, as it were, telling us that it is good for diseases of the eye.
The knowledge that aconite could be used to cure eye diseases was based upon the sympathy, as a form of affinity, between the plant and the eyes. This sympathy could be known because of another form of resemblance as its sign, whose explanatory power was justified within the discursive structure of the Renaissance episteme itself: the resemblance between eyes and the seeds of the plant.
There were no boundaries to the play of signs and resemblances in making the world, or rather the order of things, intelligible to us in the Renaissance.
As far as economic discourse is concerned, the value of money and its role as the medium of exchange was based upon the intrinsic preciousness of the metal used. Money had a price and could function as the measure of all other prices because the monetary substance was of itself precious; and in its brightness the metal carried the sign of its own preciousness and worth.
Consequently, the order of things for the classical episteme meant a taxonomy where things had their proper places in accordance not with their inherent signs, but with a representation of their identities and differences. These identities and differences, i. The sciences always carry within themselves the project [ This ordering, however, need not be quantitative. Foucault disagrees with the traditional account of the classical period as engaged in the mathematization of nature. The classical episteme was rather based on a mathesis, a general order of things which involved both quantitative and qualitative elements.
The fundamental principle was not mathematization, but an ordering of things on a non-historical table through the representation of their commonalities and dissimilarities. He argues that in their investigations these three disciplines adhered to the main rules and regularities of the classical episteme.
As we shall discuss below, Foucault uses the same metaphor in his analysis of the realm of exchange in the classical period. In particular, he argues that the realm of exchange constitutes an order in reference to the exchange of equivalences where things are represented through the monetary substance in accordance to their identities and differences in economic value.
It was their proper places in this classification according to the common elements they possessed which constituted knowledge of living beings.
The mercantilist literature analyzed wealth in its relation to money as the representation of wealth within the sphere of exchange, and this was, for Foucault, in line with the general characteristics of the classical episteme based on the representation of identities equivalences and differences.
And since money was the universal representation of wealth in the realm of exchange—on this table of equivalences—it is not surprising to Foucault that mercantilists identified money with wealth: If it was possible to believe that mercantilism confused wealth and money, this is probably because money for the mercantilists had the power of representing all possible wealth, because it was the universal instrument for the analysis and representation of wealth [ All wealth is coinable; and it is by this means that it enters into circulation—in the same way that any natural being was characterizable, and could thereby find its place in a taxonomy [ If the mercantilists did not analyze wealth within a conception of the economy based on the realm of production, this was not because they were not aware of this realm, nor was it because they thought production was not significant enough to merit a place in the analysis of wealth.
The reason, to Foucault, was that they conducted their analysis with respect to a particular discursive construction of the economy that rested upon the realm of exchange, upon a non-historical table of equivalences, where wealth circulated in the form of money as the universal representation of wealth.
The relation was reversed in the classical period: whereas in the Renaissance episteme gold and silver could represent wealth due to their intrinsic value, in the classical period they had value as monetary instruments due to their function in the realm of exchange to represent wealth. Modern economic discourse There was another break, Foucault claims, at the archaeological level of Western knowledge at the turn of the 19th century.
In the modern period, knowing things was not directed towards their representation in a non-historical table of classification, but upon their existence in real historical time. This is how knowledge of things became linked in the modern episteme to our understanding of their historical laws of development.
It was the same change, according to Foucault, that consequently allowed biology to introduce life and historicity into the understanding of living beings, to study both the development of organisms and the origin of species. In economics, the sphere of production eclipsed that of exchange, with all its accompanying elements of labor, capital, division of labor, accumulation, and the like.
All economic categories and problems, that is to say, came to be defined and investigated in terms of their relation to the realm of production. Whereas in the classical period value was determined within the system of exchange—within a non-historical cycle of equivalences—where money functioned as the universal representation of wealth, in modern economics value was linked to the productive activity of the human being, i. The laboring activity, moreover, was dependent upon the means of production, division of labor, the amount of capital invested, and so on, which themselves were related to past labor and to its historical productive organization Gutting The break Foucault locates between the classical and modern periods provides us with some new insights into classical political economy.
The Archæology of Knowledge
In Adam Smith, labor occupies a prominent place, consistent with the ascendancy of the realm of production over the sphere of exchange in economic analysis. It was Ricardo, Foucault claims, who initiated the decisive break from the classical episteme in economic discourse.
For him, the quantity of labor still determined the value of things, but this was not because labor represents wealth, but because labor, as an activity, is the source of value Foucault, b. Wealth, which circulates in the sphere of exchange in the form of labor, determines the division of labor and hence has its effect on the realm of production.
In a similar fashion, mercantilists have been accused of confusing money with wealth; the popularity of that critique being largely driven by Smith himself.
Karl Marx, though acknowledging his debt to the important figures in classical political economy, argues that there are elements in his own theoretical structure that constitute a decisive break from classical political economy.
Unlike his own analysis, Marx therefore argues, political economy studies the historical economic relations of capitalism as if they were the natural and eternal conditions of human existence.
To make his point, Foucault draws our attention to three important consequences of the conception of labor in Ricardian discourse.
The first, already mentioned, is the determination of value through a series of historical events where both past and current labor play their respective parts within the historical organization of production. The second concerns the notion of scarcity and the position of the human being in the face of scarcity.
The third consequence concerns the relation of this human finitude to history. And this history will lead for Ricardo to a stationary state where there is no prospect for further development. The finitude of the human being, however, has a positive aspect for Foucault in the Kantian sense that what limits our knowledge of things makes at the same time this knowledge possible. It is the discursive construction of the human being in its finitude, in its limitation by scarcity, Foucault emphasizes, that makes modern economic discourse possible.
Human finitude creates, therefore, the conditions of possibility of modern economics: in its finitude the modern human being establishes itself as a unified, centered, and rational subject, thereby creating a space where modern economics becomes possible as a human science.
Whatever their future projections, however, Foucault argues that both Ricardo and Marx see history as the struggle of the laboring subject to survive under the conditions of fundamental scarcity. In Ricardo, scarcity, hence human finitude, presents itself in historical time as increasing quantities of labor become necessary to produce the same amount of output due to diminishing returns. In Marx, on the other hand, scarcity finds its existence historically within the capitalist relations of production as capital accumulates through the exploitation of labor, and as the number of those who get no more than subsistence-level wages increases Foucault b.
Foucault rejects, furthermore, the presupposition that the same conception of the economy exists in historically distinct theoretical structures, thereby dispensing with the established continuities in the history of economic thought. For the difference between labor and utility theory of value, Foucault very briefly suggests, is only a surface phenomenon Amariglio ; they both are predicated upon the constitution of a finite human being in its confrontation with scarcity as its fundamental condition of existence.
Whereas the labor theory of value puts the laboring activity of the human being at the center of its theoretical framework, the utility theory of value chooses to structure its theoretical analysis in the subjective sphere around need and desire Foucault b.
Both subjectivities, however, belong to the same discursive formation for Foucault: the same discursive construction of modern man can be found, therefore, in various theories within modern economic discourse. Additionally, there is such a variety of usages of the notions of modernism and postmodernism that it seems virtually impossible to come up with an overarching definition of postmodernism today. Sometimes postmodernism is defined as the cultural form or expression of late capitalism, characterized by mass commodification, globalization of production, widespread use of information technologies, and so on Jameson It is not my intention here to systematically analyze these or other definitions of postmodernism.
Now, postmodernism in this sense entails a critical relation to and an attitude toward modernism that aims to uncover and call into question, in a deconstructivist sense, the hidden assumptions and underlying metaphysical underpinnings of modernism Screpanti Second, postmodern thought tries to demolish the strict modernist separation between science and rhetoric by denying the existence of universal and objective criteria of truth Ruccio This critique implies that scientific rationality leads to a state of affairs where alternative interpretations of the world are cast aside and silenced in the name of universal norms of scientificity which are themselves historically, geographically, and culturally situated according to postmodernism thought.
With respect to two specific points, however, there seems to be a close relation between Foucault and postmodern thought. First, his analysis of Western rationality through an historical account of scientific discourses—in other words, his willingness to approach the problem of knowledge, not in reference to an abstract and centered epistemological subject, but from the perspective of the discursive rules and regularities that determine what can be thought and said within the confines of scientific rationality—fits with the postmodern critique of theoretical humanism.
The Archaeology Of Knowledge
Scientific practice for Foucault entails a process of subjectification through the historical rules of a discursive formation, a process that cannot be explained by recourse to the autonomous subject of epistemology. This refers to his articulation of the modern episteme, its essential principles such as historicity, continuity and the birth of man, and to his anticipation of a new discursive formation that is characterized by the death of man as it is understood in modernism.
These disciplines are paying ever more attention to the decentered subjectivities, i. Even though this new discursive formation that Foucault describes may not completely define for many the general milieu called postmodernism, it surely illuminates one central aspect of the postmodern critique of modernism.
This debate has many facets, ranging from ontological premises to the problem of scientificity in economics. McCloskey and Klamer call into question the claim of economics to scientificity by showing the rhetorical and conversational elements of modern economic theorizing.
Resnick and Wolff , for example, in their rethinking of the Marxian notion of class move toward a postmodern stance when they conceptualize class, not as a stable and unified entity, but rather as a process in which people are involved in various ways.
An individual may therefore partake in different class positions, and hence embody different subjectivities, in the processes of production, appropriation, and distribution of surplus value.
Salaried employees, for example, such as managers, state officials and supervisors, get a share from total surplus in many complex and overdetermined ways, Resnick and Wolff argue, in so far as they contribute to the conditions of existence of the capitalist system. Hence the existence of unified class positions and subjectivities the laboring subject of classical Marxism is rejected in their postmodern Marxian analysis of capitalist relations.
To illustrate further, some recent feminist research, and feminist economics in particular, criticizes the idea that feminist movements should seek to construct a stable feminine identity in its struggle against gender-based inequalities in society.
This approach argues that since subjectivities and identities cannot be stable, gender whether biological or a cultural construction cannot establish unified and unambiguous subject positions Butler In their understanding of gender as performative, postmodern feminists argue that disciplinary techniques in society force subjects to perform specific bodily acts and thus create the appearance, or rather the illusion, of an essential, centered, and unified gender Butler ; Hewitson What needs emphasis here perhaps is that the postmodern moments that Amariglio and Ruccio point to reveal the possibility of an economic theorizing that does not make recourse to a centered and unified subjectivity with a singular rationality.
This point is important because the decentering of the unified economic subject of modern economic theorizing has influenced various schools of thought in economics, even though one cannot always find explicit references to Foucault or postmodernism in these literatures.Madness and civilization. Richard Howard. Hence the existence of unified class positions and subjectivities the laboring subject of classical Marxism is rejected in their postmodern Marxian analysis of capitalist relations.
The contradictions explain each utterance and each organsiation. As far as economic discourse is concerned, the value of money and its role as the medium of exchange was based upon the intrinsic preciousness of the metal used.
Are you going to declare yet again that you have never been what you have been reproached with being? The discursive formation exists on a level at once different and the same as that of statements, of a distribution of gaps, voids, absences, limits, and divisions.
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