García Agustín: Sociology of Discourse. From institutions to social change




García Agustín: Sociology of Discourse. From institutions to social change

(image) García Agustín, Óscar: Sociology of Discourse. From institutions to social change. John Benjamins. 2015 [Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture, 61]
DOI: 10.1075/dapsac.61

Sociology of Discourse takes the perspective that collective actors like social movements are capable of creating social change from below by creating new institutions through alternative discourses. Institutionalization becomes a process of moving away from existing institutions towards creating new ones. While discourses entail openness and enable the questioning of what is instituted, institutions offer continuity and stability to social mobilizations. This dual movement of openness and stabilization explains how social struggles ensure their continuity, without completely assuming the logic of the dominant order. The book proposes an analytical model of social change, which is unfolded through three intertwined areas: discourse, communication, and institution. Collective experiences of social change, from the anti-globalization movement to Occupy, illustrate the main theoretical points and concepts. Through the example of the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages, the book concludes by analyzing how social change from below is possible.

Table of Contents
Sociology of discourse
Chapter 1. Social change
Chapter 2. Discourse
Chapter 3. Communication
Chapter 4. Institutions
Chapter 5. “Yes, We Can”: The platform for people affected by mortgages in Spain

One of the main goals of this book is to ask how social movements ensure continuity. Óscar García Agustín proposes to find the answer to this question in the theoretical problematization of the relations between discourse and institutionalization. Now, the constituent processes of anti-globalization and occupy movements also have a book, a sociological reflection of adequate impetus to the analysis of the different components of the movement. The end of the book could not be happier, by introducing the case of the PAH, being both about social unionism and municipalism and from which we can immediately learn about the constituent role of discursive practices. The constituent process is not a fixation of social change but rather its affirmation, always remaining open. It is not the measure of change in terms of success or failure that is interesting, but the renewed dynamics of the constituent power.”
Giuseppe Cocco, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

“In this Sociology of Discourse, Óscar García Agustín suggests an innovative model that puts discourse and social movements at the very centre of social change processes. Thus, the book examines how discursive practices (such as those of social movements), aimed at the production of social meaning, challenge current institutions and allow for the appearance of new ones. In deploying this approach, the book presents a bright and exciting analysis of some of the major challenging contemporary social movements, such as Piqueteros, V-de Vivienda, Strike Debt, #YoSoy132, Zapatistas, the World Social Forum, Chilean students, and the platform for people affected by mortgages in Spain, among others. This illuminating panorama of ongoing struggles and (possible) social change, which gives prominence to a sociological over a linguistic perspective, is without any doubt one of the major contributions of this book.”
Luisa Martín Rojo, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

“In this provocative book García places discourse, institutionalisation and social movements front and center of an account of social change. Illustrated with contemporary case studies, and framed in a theoretically rich framework, García challenges us to rethink how power, language and collective agency work to bring about social transformation.”
Cristina Flesher Fominaya, University of Aberdeen