On interpellation: an introduction to specular sociology
Casser, J. (2020). On interpellation: an introduction to specular sociology (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13378
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13378
Louis Althusser's theory of interpellation represents certain social phenomena (including, but not limited to: class, state power, philosophy, and art) as being constituted by mirror structures of mis/recognition (cf. Althusser, 2014, 2003, 1971a, 1970). A specular interpretation of socialisation suggests how the academic discipline of sociology could further its epistemic intent by critically studying the specular indices of social structures: hence the prospect of a specular sociology. Therein this thesis applies Althusser's description of structural causality to explain the overdetermined, and therefore contingent, consequences of interpellation upon individual agency in historical (Part I), logical (Part II), and empirical terms (Part III). Each part (I, II & III) is comprised of three chapters with each chapter containing four sections: (§1.1-§9.4). The readability of a given text is frequently abstracted from the material basis of prestructured knowledge for reasons of ostensibly immediate intelligibility, in effect, mediate forms of textuality do not receive sufficient recursive iteration during practices of socialisation (cf. Sollers 1983; Nancy and Lacoue-Labarthe, 1992; Pêcheux, 1982; Angermüller, 2005; Solomon, 2012). To understand the interpellative effects of socially instituted mis/recognition Althusser formulated a general theory of discourse (GT of discourse) that sought to establish a "differential" method for the analysis of discursive "elements" and "constraints" (q.v. Althusser, 2003). Although Althusser's GT of discourse did not find final form his envisaged research program does present a preliminary exposition of interpellative effects in relation to structures of discourse (q.v. Montag, 2015). The linear inception of interpellation is referenced in the historical movement of textuality, due to this, a non-linear reading of social action becomes the interpretive gesture of post-interpellative agency announced by the introduction to specular sociology that is read in the succeeding lines. Interpellative acts are thus conveyed in the linearity of discursive structures which inform the ideal conventions of historically specific enunciative systems (cf. Foucault, 1972; Searle, 1969). The delineation of this discourse defines the incipient field of specular sociology.
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