In the latest issue of Studia ethnologica Croatica (vol. 29), Sanja Đurin published the article Poststructuralist discourse theory through discussion on the introduction of the concept of ‘marriage’ in the Croatian Constitution.
The discourse theory still occupies a rather marginal position and faces considerable scepticism in the Croatian academic community. By examining the core arguments of the discourse theory, this paper aims to transform the present attitude. The discourse theory assumes that every linguistic and non-linguistic production (including speeches, reports, manifestos, historical events, ideas, interviews, archives, policies, documents, organizations and institutions, narratives in museums, motion pictures, etc.) represents discursive forms which constitute a ‘discourse’ and its ‘reality’. Based on Foucault’s theoretical legacy, and by elaborating the concept of discourse as defined in Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe’s Hegemony and social strategy, the discourse theory uses discursive forms to “describe, understand, and explain how and why particular discursive formations were constructed, stabilized and transformed“ (Torfing 2005:19). Recent discussion on the definition of marriage in Croatia and its introduction in the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia serves as a particular and specific example which has allowed the examination of the main aspects of the concept in this paper.
Full article in Croatian is available here.