Thursday, February 04, 2016

Constructed False Doxa

 At a seminar a few days ago someone mentioned the fact the Foucault and (especially) Bourdieu are often reference in works in a way which suggests their orthodoxy, though of course orthodoxy, and what makes a line of thought acceptable was one of the things those scholars sought to change. The next paper I have on my reading list just happens to be Blackledge, 2009, and dear old Bourdieu gets a mention... in the abstract! 

Bourdieu references doxa. And there's nothing wrong with doxa per se, it's the framing of a construct as doxa that is problematical. For example, I recently read somewhere, didn't make a note unfortunately) an article on education in the US that began with phrase, "With the failure of the state..." as if it was taken for granted that the state had failed in the provision of education, everyone knew that, and thus we were ALL forced to look at private provision.  

One would need an extremely uncritical mind to be taking in by most (let's call them) Constructed False Doxa. But when I went in search of this concept, almost everything went back to Plato. The only scholar using the phrase "false doxa" in a non-classical sense, (in connexion with racism, as it happens, so not too far away from my own research) is Myers, 2005, (I'm getting a copy from the ILL service). 

What's bugging me is that I've encountered this concept before, probably in Critical Discourse Analysis, but I can't remember the label/terminology. It's really important though. It's a discourse trick in all kinds of contexts, including common speech: "We all know that... Garry is lazy/Geordies are thick/white men can't dance" etc, just insert any dodgy premise you can think of, wrap it up in your auditors' most convincing form of "It is widely accepted that...", hey presto! a fully formed Constructed False Doxa, To Go. 

Anyways, that's my weekend sorted: Bourdieu, 1998. But that tangent is done for today, and I'm getting back to Blackledge, 2009, and my proper reading.


Blackledge, A. (2009). : The Further Extension of Language Testing Regimes in the United Kingdom. Language Assessment Quarterly, 6(1), 6–16.
Bourdieu, P. (1998). On television and journalism. London: Polity Press.

Myers, K. A. (2005). Racetalk: Racism hiding in plain sight. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.