chapter  4
13 Pages

Studying governmental discourse

In methodological terms, the endeavour that we undertake in this book can be described as a critical discourse analysis of managerial marketing. This chapter describes how we intend to accomplish this in four sections. The chapter opens by introducing the two major types of methodological principles Foucault developed to analyse discourse – archaeology and genealogy. Our analysis should be described as neither an orthodox archaeology nor an orthodox genealogy – it draws inspiration from both. In the second section we introduce our central methodological concepts: turning points and problematizations. Very generally, the former refers to shifts in direction of a discourse and the latter to what occurrences lead to these changes. We will, however, argue that the notions of turning points and problematizations as treated in previous research are too abstract for guiding concrete analyses of discourse. Therefore, the third section introduces the approach to discourse analysis outlined by Laclau and Mouffe (1985) referred to as discourse theory (Phillips and Jørgensen 2002), which provides a structure that can complement these two notions and qualify them more sharply. Discourse theory thus is the methodology that inspires our more detailed analysis of marketing discourse. We see the work of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe as a specification of Foucault’s position to discourse analysis – not as a substitute. In the fourth section, our periodization of marketing that will be deployed in the analysis is presented based on the turning points and problematizations approach contextualized by discourse theory.1