AG 4: Discourse–Power–Knowledge. Constructing Inequality

Members: Annemarie Ambühl (Classical Philology), Antje Dresen (Sport Sociology; AG spokesperson), Florian Freitag (American Studies), Marion Gindhart (Classical Studies/Paradigma Alte Welt), Thorsten Hindrichs (Musicology), Claudia Steinberg (Sports Pedagogy)

This interdisciplinary group deals with cultural, aesthetic, symbolic and social aspects of inequality through in light of the interplay between power and knowledge. Inequality is considered not only as the origin, but also interpreted as an effect of communication practices, social structures and perceptions of both, all of which are closely linked to law, politics, economics, culture, art, literature, the use of language and governance. The focus is on (discursive) constructs of inequality, past and present, as well as on comparing perspectives across cultural and linguistic boundaries. We deal with questions such as, ‘who is involved in the system of knowledge-based representation and production of inequality and how? What characterizes or justifies inequality and social stratification within this system? What is the interplay between aesthetic, sociocultural, economic and political Other-, and self-representation, and knowledge-power complexes? What are the practical effects of spatiotemporal communication among collective, institutional players?
Against this background, we are currently dedicated to the discourse phenomenon of ‘Crossings’. Following our international workshop on ‘Discursive Crossings: Subversion and Affirmation of Power Relations’ in October 2012, we are now developing terminological, theoretical and empirical approaches to the processes of the semantic choice between encoding, appropriation, legitimacy and legitimization as well as territorialization. To this end, an international research network is being built up within the centre itself.