Centres, hybrids and socio-discursive change
In the article I examine general issues concerning the function of the centre-periphery visualisation in discourse analysis and, indirectly, in many other studies into modern social communication. I emphasise the dynamics of mutual relations between the centre and the peripheries, including the definitional and categorial instability of both concepts as well as the relativity of research heuristic using this kind of metaphor. The point of reference is the English-language literature on the subject. In the article I focus briefly on two aspects of the problem: external and internal with regard to discourse analysis. In the case of the former, my interest focuses on globalisation, i.e. how social, economic, cultural and technological transformations influence our social actions and thinking about discourse, symbolic power and social identity. The latter case is about the genre which for me is the definitional centre for linguistic discourse analysis, especially for critical discourse studies with an interdisciplinary background. The aim of my reflections is to show how socio-discursive changes, including the growing hybridisation and multimodality of communication as well as the generic openness of new discursive formations, influence the destabilisation of the centre-periphery relations in social perception and discourse analysis. I believe that both turns in contemporary discourse studies — the critical and the semiotic — pose completely new challenges to linguistically-based discourse analysis and, consequently, to linguistics itself.