- The overall societal discourse.
In any particular society, there is an overall societal discourse,
composed of a large number of strands, positions, etc. in a state
of complex entanglement.
- This may be entirely homogenised (as in the FR Germany - especially
since the big political change in 1989 when East Germany 'joined'
- However, society is never entirely homogeneous (and will always
change to survive
- A homogenised society may throw up sub-groups in the most surprising
ways (hippies, punk, Baader-Meinhof)
- The world discourse is perhaps the sum total of the national
discourses, and it is even more homogeneous ( ? ), but this changes
slowly, for example from a West/East discourse to North/South
to Others/Islam as the main overall world discourses.
- In the 1950's, the UK national discourse about food was especially
homogeneous - 'everyone' ate meat, potatoes and two veg for sunday
The overall societal discourse may be particularly entwined, interdependent
and deep rooted. An analysis of discourse can attempt to untangle
this, generally by
- working on individual discourses on individual discourse planes
(e.g. focussing only on the media - immigration discourse)
- joining other analyses to this, e.g. political/immigration,
- then asking how the discourse planes of the entire strand relate
to one another - do they 'eat into' each other, dovetail, how
do they influence each other (especially in the media)
National Discourses can differ greatly in subtle and unexpected
ways. For example, in Germany, because of the harsh winter weather,
animals have always spent the whole winter in their cowsheds and
stalls. The weather is also too hot in summer, so, about 30 years
ago, apparently without any public objection at all, nearly all
German livestock was moved into indoor accommodation for the whole
year, giving the great advantage that fences are no longer needed
in the German fields, thus cutting costs. This shows a profound
national difference in attitude and ideas about what is acceptable,
and though many British animals may now live all their lives indoors,
this is not genrally realised, as so many animals can be seen in
the fields. In the UK, the German system would be felt as very unnatural
and 'wrong'. In most of Germany there are NO animals in the fields.
This is a manifestation of differing national (unconscious) discourses
contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in the