Chapters 6 and 7 - Chapters 6 and 7 The Formation of...

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Chapters 6 and 7: The Formation of Strategies; and Remarks and Consequences. Summary Certain discursive organizations of objects, concepts, and enunciative modalities give rise to 'themes' or 'theories' (the former denoting less 'coherence, rigour, and stability' than the latter). Foucault calls these themes and theories 'strategies.' He cannot say as much about the analysis of the formation of strategies in history as he was able to about the analysis of the first three formations, because his attention in his three previous books was directed primarily toward these first three. He will, however, indicate some directions for research. First, we must determine the 'points of diffraction' of a discourse. These points occur when two incompatible objects, concepts, or types of enunciation have the same conditions of emergence and try to occupy the same discursive space (an 'either … or' situation). Often, whole discursive 'sub- groups' are attached to these incompatible elements. Second, the factors that determine which these conflicting possibilities actually becomes part of the discourse often exist outside of the discourse in question. One must therefore look for these factors in the functioning of the 'economy of the discursive constellation' to which the discourse belongs, examining modifications in principles of exclusion and choice. Finally, the determination of these theoretical choices is also made possible by a 'field of non-discursive practices,' a field of authority governed in part by restrictions on who can say what where, who can spend what where, etc. This field of authority is also determined partly by the place of desire in relation to the discourse, which may serve as a location for fantasy, the forbidden, satisfaction, etc. These are not factors hidden within the discourse or external to it; they serve as some of its 'formative elements.'
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