Discourse can be described as the ‘great milling mass’ of thought, opinion, information, assessments, and so on, that fills millions of column inches of newspapers and magazines, and hours of radio, TV and conversations
It is a convenient word to use, with advantages over the concepts of thought and mind which are more widely used. Discourse implies that ‘we all knit along together’ in a number of fields, reacting to events, comparing schools of thought, adapting to new (and more fashionable) ideas. From this viewpoint, there is little ‘new’ thought which is our own – we adapt to the general discourses around us and in the media, and take up a fairly narrow range of positions in relation to these discourses.
This usage of discourse seems useful and relevant, so I have described more fully how discourse may have developed, and some of the main ‘structure and properties’ of discourse itself. (In this section I use examples relating to food. All references are from articles in Wodak, R. and Meyer, M (eds.) Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis, Sage Publications, London.)
The sub-pages are:-