What is Discourse ?
Discourse can be conveniently described as the "great milling
mass" of thought, opinion, information, assessments, and so
on, that fills millions of column inches of newspapers and magazines,
and hours of radio, TV and conversations It is a convenient word
to use, and it has advantages over the concepts of thought and mind
which are more widely used. Discourse implies that 'we all knit
along together' in a number of fields, reacting to events, comparing
schools of thought, adapting to new (and more fashionable) ideas.
From this viewpoint, there is little 'new' thought which is our
own - we adapt to the general discourses around us and in the media,
and take up a fairly narrow range of positions in relation to these
This usage of discourse seems useful and relevant, and I will describe
more fully how discourse may have developed, and some of the main
'structure and properties' of discourse itself.
I have divided this into the following sections (although they
follow in sequence, they can also be read separately):
The Original Question
- how discourse may have begun
Structures and Properties
of Discourse - strands,