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What D/discourse analysis can tell us about neoliberal constructions of (gendered) personhood: Some notes on commonsense and temporality

Issue: Vol 1 No. 1 (2007) Gender & Language 1.1

Journal: Gender and Language

Subject Areas: Gender Studies Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/genl.2007.1.1.93


How do the commonsense claims of Discourse (systems of knowledge production) relate to those of discourses (informal conversations, texts)? Under what conditions does a Discourse become commonsense and how, when, and under what conditions does it lose this status? How can we track changes in gendered D/discourses over time? This paper explores these questions with reference to the neoliberal, gendered constructions of personhood accompanying welfare reforms in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 1991 and 1996, and the changes that have occurred since Aotearoa/New Zealand
began, in 1999, to retreat from neoliberalism. An understanding of the place of neoliberal conceptualizations of personhood in the discourse of poor single mothers and
welfare providers, and in policy texts five years after the government shift, calls for a D/discourse analysis that is oriented simultaneously to the problematics of commonsense
and temporality.

Author: Catherine Kingfisher

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