Unformatted text preview: y I used the term “social relations” instead of “economic” to refer to ownership of the means of production, a key Marxian concept in the idea of the mode of production. I found this usage confusing in undergraduate teaching and so I have resorted to using the term “economic relations.” 8 We assume that each node of the nexus is home to a bundle of concepts (or signifieds). This allows us to redraw the diagram of polysemy in Figure 9 so that concepts or signifieds are bundled into discursive groups or nodes. 17 This approach contrasts sharply with the social science search for root causes. Since the nodes of the nexus are multiple, mutually constituted, and discursive/material, the nexus offers no means by which “causes” of a problem can be arranged in some logical order of importance. In fact, the logic of the nexus is designed to question the social science preoccupation with the search for root causes. Serious questions can be raised of the validity of the all‐too‐common practice of using statistical regression equations to discover and rank order independent variables that are presumed to be causal agents. If social categories are discursive, then independent variables that correspond to these categories cannot escape their discursive constructivist origin. In an overdetermined world of mutually constituted processes there are no dependent and independent variables, certainly not ones that can be rank‐ordered according to some logic of causation. If some causes are more important than others we need to ask “important to whom?” and “to whose agency?” There is no central logic‐giving authority in the world that can help arbitrate the relative importance of this or that cause, or help us find or root causes. The concept of the nexus has no physical center; the center of the nexus is simply a locus of attention; the nexus has a “rhizomatic” logic of a non‐hierarchical network of roots (Deleuze and Guattari 1987) shown in figure 12 as a layer of crabgrass roots with no tap roots, no hierarch...
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- Winter '14
- Poverty, discourse theory, discursive aggregation, Discursive selection