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Law as Social Discourse I

A Topology of Discourse
  • Peter Goodrich
Part of the Language, Discourse, Society book series (LDS)

Abstract

The project of delineating and presenting a concept of legal discourse or materialist rhetoric of law, as an alternative form, or political instrument for the analysis of legal relations, raises a series of problems. Not least the concept of discourse itself, and the various contemporary interdisciplinary uses of a method of discourse analysis as the appropriate tool of critical theory have lent the term a certain fashionable if diffuse currency. The invocation of, or recourse to, the terminology of discourse or of discourse analysis, however, is unfortunately considerably more frequent than any systematic or indeed coherent examination of the requisite methodology or critical limitation of the concept itself. In the broadest and loosest of terms, the concept of discourse can be applied to any sequence of utterances at the level of the sentence or above.’ In potential it thus ranges in scope from the seemingly universal problems of the structural features of culture, communication and ideology as the intrinsic problems of the theory of discourse, right the way down to the minute questions of the syntactic and semantic analysis of the specific, historically singular, text or utterance, studied in discourse analysis.

Keywords

Discourse Analysis Language System Legal Text Legal Discourse Syntactic Feature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes and References

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    Such I take to be one of the few points well made in D. Silverman and B. Torode, The Material Word (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980) PP. 6–8.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Peter Goodrich 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Goodrich
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Newcastle-upon-TyneUK

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