Language, Ideology and Social Consciousness
Developing a Sociohistorical Approach
Originally published in 1999, this book sets out to develop a distinctive, critical approach to the study of social consciousness through empirical studies of sociopolitical conflict in the west of Scotland. It accords an analytical priority to language-use and provides a critical review of a number of contemporary studies and approaches as part of an emerging presentation of an original and distinctive method.
The book makes a significant contribution to the recovery for social science of the achievements of a set of Marxist psychologists and philosophers of language - most notably L.S. Vygotsky and V.N. Voloshinov - whose potential relevance for political sociology has barely been recognised. It tests and demonstrates the relevance of the approach it seeks to develop in relation to empirical studies - most notably the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders 'work-in' of 1971-72 and the Scottish Office-led urban policy 'Partnership' in Ferguslie Park, Paisley in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Ultimately, the analytical focus on language becomes a key component of a larger mode of social investigation which begins from an analysis of changing patterns of language-use - one which 'turns' to language without embracing the 'linguistic turn'.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Part I: Developing the Approach. 1. Language, Ideology and Social Consciousness: A Critique of J.C. Scott. 2. L. S. Vygotsky and the Study of Consciousness. 3. 'Tool and Result': Use and Development. Part II: The Pragmatics of Emancipation. 4. The Pragmatics of Emancipation I: A Critical Review of the Work of Michael Huspek. 5 .Extending Vygotsky: Bakhtin, Voloshinov and J. V. Wrtsch. 6. The Pragmatics of Emancipation II: The Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Work-In, 1971-72. Part III: The Ferguslie Park 'Partnership'. 7. Ferguslie Park: From Exclusion to 'Partnership'. 8. The Dialogics of 'Partnership' and 'Community Action'.
’This is an excellent book [which] succeeds in providing a method for opening up the dynamics of popular consciousness and ideology to critical empirical exploration...well-written and organized, with the steps in a complex and rich argument being presented in a highly satisfying manner. It deserves the widest dissemination among all those concerned with the study of popular consciousness.’ Colin Barker, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK ’This is a book of rare quality and importance. Anybody who uses the words community, empowerment, inclusion or class, needs to read this book before they use them again.’ Professor John Foster, University of Paisley, UK ’...emphasises the apparently insurmountable difficulties attending communication across social boundaries...’ Aslib Book Guide