discursive discussion / representation


Senior Member
Bonjour à tous et à toutes!
Je lis actuellement un article de recherche sur "Gender and Working Class Identity in GB" et le terme "discursive" revient souvent. Malgré les différentes définitions proposées dans le dictionnaire je n'arrive pas à comprendre son sens dans des phrases comme :
"A distance opened up between lived experience, established discursive expressions of class identity and newer articulations of gender identity."
"As well,this article is principally concerned with the discursive representation of gender within the working classes, but it does suggest that such representations had a relationship to material changes in working class life in the 1950s."
Merci d'avance pour votre aide!
  • LaurePa

    Bonjour !

    En ce qui me concerne, je comprends ici le mot "discursive" comme un aspect négatif des raisonnements concernant les classes ouvrières: on en parle beaucoup mais ça part un peu dans tous les sens, c'est plus théorique que pratique, éloigné de la réalité des choses.

    "Une distance s'est créée entre l'expérience vécue, les expressions établies sur l'identité de classe découlant d'un raisonnement digressif, et les nouvelles articulations d'identité de genre.
    De plus, dans cet article, la représentation du genre au sein les classes ouvrières se concentre principalement sur un raisonnement théorique, mais suggère aussi que lesdites représentations ont été en lien direct avec les changements matériels dans la classe ouvrière des années 50."

    Voilà, après ça n'engage que moi, peut-être quelqu'un pourra t'apporter une autre définition. ;)


    Senior Member
    UK English
    Well,'discursive' is used in many (and sometimes rather contradictory) ways, and the idea of 'rambling, wandering off the point' is certainly one of them, but I don't think 'digressif' is
    intended here ; also, 'dans cet article, la représentation du genre au sein des classes ouvrières se concentre principalement sur ...' misrepresents the original 'cet article se concentre principalement sur la représentation 'discursive' du genre au sein des classes ouvrières...'

    I looked at this article (interesting; I'd never really considered gender in this context before) , and the author seems to use 'discursive' simply as an adjective derived from 'discourse', meaning (reasoned) 'discussion' (in the context, normally written discussions). In the first sentence, I think he means simply 'expressions of class identity which are established in written discussion on the subject'; and in the second, 'this article is principally concerned with the representation in written discussion of gender ...' (shortly before this, the author has said 'The present article ... then uses texts of social observation and sociology such as Coal is Our Life (1956) and Family and Kinship in East London (1957) to explore observations of working class family life and masculinity.'

    Another example of the author's use of the word occurs a page or two later, 'Domestic work in the private sphere, including maternity, rather than paid work in the public sphere was seen as the normative state of working class femininity. Of course, this was a discursive construction with did not always accord with lived experience,...', where it seems to mean much the same thing - this was an interpretation formulated in the course of reasoned discussion of the issue'. The fact that it doesn't accord with 'lived experience' isn't part of the meaning of 'discursive'.


    On second thought, digressif might indeed not be totally accurate in this context, you're right - and my translation of the sentence a bit too hasty. ;)

    The fact that it doesn't accord with 'lived experience' isn't part of the meaning of 'discursive'.

    I disagree, I strongly believe that she uses the word discursive to oppose both approaches of the matter: the theoretical and the practical.
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