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Ideology critique or discourse analysis? Žižek against Foucault

Vighi, Fabio ORCID: and Feldner, Heiko Michael ORCID: 2007. Ideology critique or discourse analysis? Žižek against Foucault. European Journal of Political Theory 6 (2) , pp. 141-159. 10.1177/1474885107074347

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The following article examines the theoretical foundations and practical consequences of Slavoj Žižek's critique of Foucauldian discourse analysis. It does so by uncovering Žižek's idiosyncratic approach to the question of ideology critique. The aim of our investigation is twofold. First, we attempt to demonstrate the implications of Foucault's failure to theorize the generative principle of sociosymbolic formations; second, we argue that by conceiving the Real of class antagonism as the disavowed core of ideological fantasy, Žižek rectifies Foucault's inconsistency while simultaneously opening up a vital political space for the reconceptualization of the paradigm of ideology critique. Our article does not attempt to bring into dialogue Foucault's theory of discourse with Žižek's theory of ideology; rather, it stages an encounter between the two. The encounter involves a contrastive comparison, the tertium comparationis of which is the problematic of how Foucault's and Žižek's respective frameworks may help us conceptualize political change. Against this background and criterion it is possible to establish where and why their social theories differ, and to assess the extent to which Žižek's theoretical choices are preferable to Foucault's.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: class; discourse; enjoyment; Foucault; ideology; Lacan; power; psychoanalysis; Real; Žižek
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1474-8851
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 08:51

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