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The ethics of interpretation : The signifying chain from field to analysis

Lapping, Claudia (2008) The ethics of interpretation : The signifying chain from field to analysis. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 29 (1). pp. 69-83. ISSN 0159-6306

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Abstract

This paper attempts to describe the relationship between the embodied practice of fieldwork and the written articulation of this experience. Starting from Valerie Hey's conceptualisation of 'rapport' as form of 'intersubjective synergy', a moment of recognition of similarity within difference – similar in structure to Laclau and Moufffe's conceptualization of hegemony – the paper explores how we can understand these moments of recognition as positioned within a complex web of signifying chains that interlink social, psychic and linguistic means of representation. Laclau and Mouffe's logics of equivalence and difference and Lacan's account of the production of meaning through metaphor and metonymy provide a theoretical language through which to explore chains of meaning in two fragments of data drawn from a study comparing disciplines and institutions in higher education. My argument is that an awareness of these processes of production of meaning is necessary to the development of an ethical mode of interpretation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper develops an original conceptualisation of reflexivity within research. Drawing on both Lacanian psychoanalytic theory and Laclau and Mouffe's theory of hegemony, it traces discontinutities in the researcher's subjective position in moments within interviews and then explores the way that these moments are articulated within the written analysis. This complex exploration of the production of meaning across the contexts of field, analysis and writing disrupts the boundaries of each of these settings, foregrounding traces and associations that reveal the interdependency and incompleteness of both embedded experience and analytical writing. It may also help us to take fuller account of the selections and omissions we produce, in our interactions with participants and also in the fixing of meanings within our writing. This is an electronic version of an article published in Lapping, Claudia (2008) The ethics of interpretation: the signifying chain from field to analysis. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 29 (1). pp. 69-83. Discourse is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/01596300701801351
Controlled Keywords: metaphor, metonymy, chain of signifiers, contingency, hegemony, 'rapport'
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Culture, Communication and Media
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (1)
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2010 11:32
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2013 15:43
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