The Thought Occurs

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Halliday On Bourdieu

Halliday (2002: 11):
Bourdieu is an expert in exploiting the power of language to proclaim that language has no power.  This carries the comforting message that therefore you needn't bother to analyse it.  Since grammar is difficult and analysing the lexicogrammar of a text requires a great deal of time and thought, any message that draws attention away from language will always be gratefully received.  The argument being offered is that if you take account of the centrality of language you are being "logocentric": anything "centric" is condemned without being tried.  In practice the problem is exactly the opposite — we might call it 'centrifugal': whenever in dealing with any issue people are brought face to face with language, they will choose to avoid engaging with it if they can.