CRITICS: globalisation of discursive practices

Mr N Fairclough N.Fairclough at
Wed Nov 22 13:04:27 UTC 1995

I would like to see how much interest there is in establishing a network
around the theme of globalisation of discourse practices.

What I mean by this is the tendency in the contemporary world for
discourse practices to "flow" sometimes rather rapidly across boundaries
of culture and language. Examples would be the "Americanisation" of
political discourse on TV, the spread of workplace genres associated
with new managerial practices such as "quality circles", or the spread
of methods of English language teaching and the their assocviated
discourse practices which originate in eg the USA or Britain.

The assumption is not at all that there is a simple process of
convergence going on. Globalisation is perhaps best thought of in terms
of a globalisation/localisation dialectic, so that a key question is how
practices become transformed in the process of being appropriated within
specific local discursive economies (orders of discourse). The concept
of globalisation suggests that to some degree there is perhaps emerging
a global "order of discourse" which means that the discourse practices
of one culture may become points of reference for others, but leaves
open for me the longer-term import or direction of change. Other
questions are about: the channels and networks through which these
flows take place; how globalisation of discourse practices relates to
globalisation in a wider sense - cultural globalisation, economic
globalisation; how these processes might be politically read - for
instance are the concepts of hegemony or imperialism relevant?

I would like to hear from anyone who is interested in these issues, and
I would like to hear about any research going on which bears upon them.
A network in this area could perahps lead quite soon to a book launching
this field of research (I have vaguely been thinking about that), to
conferences, and perhaps tio collaborative research. I would welcome
responses to the suggestion of any sort.

				Norman Fairclough,
				Linguistics Department,
				Lancaster University, UK

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