Discourse analysis and its application to sport policy analysis
Despite often disagreeing about the specific uses and effects of discourse, there is general acknowledgment in academia that discourses are forms of knowledge about the world. These knowledges play a significant role in how we understand the social world, the people within it and how we and others should behave. For example, one of the original writers on discourse, Michel Foucault, explains that what we know about madness (as an example of a discourse) has been:
constituted by all that has been said in all the statements that named it, divided it up, described it, explained it, traced its developments, indicated its various correlations, judged it, and possibly gave it speech by articulating, in its name, discourses that were to be taken as its own.