The Dispositive
 

The dispositive is a valuable theoretical concept which integrates the work I have done, and raises more questions at other levels. It is an overall system which involves three aspects of knowledge:-

  1. Discourse as a flow of knowledge,
  2. Manifestations (material objects and designs) as materialisations of knowledge, and
  3. Non-discursive practices (decisions and events) which are implementations of knowledge

The dispositive should form a seamless picture of a topic. For example, a business may have done research (used discourse as a flow of knowledge, ideas, information in the field of health nutrition and marketing) and created a new type of margerine (as a materialisation or design based on that knowledge, both about food substances and marketing) and then they have made decisions and applied them to producing, advertising and supplying that product to the consumers (using decisions and events to implement the knowledge). Though this is a simple example, it shows a high level of self-consistency of knowledge.


1. The Context of Food Policy
2. Government and Policy
3. Policy Analysis
4. In-depth analysis of sub-topics
5. The Dispositive (Triangulation)
Government
Industrialisation
Industy and Animals
6. Summary
7. Conclusions


I am testing the dispositive to see if it can be applied more widely, and I have created 3 pages to investigate this, loking at the Government itself, at Industrialisation, and at animals and industry

I have looked at these topics as whole knowledge systems, and extracted some information from them - that the fields are not continuous and self-consistent (seamless), there are major gaps at some of these 'higher' levels, and in particular that my context survey shows a dominant process of industrialisation in the food sector, but this is forgotten / ignored / hidded in all the Government and public discourses.

Discussion of the Dispositive

The dispositive is not a standard concept, and I am not sure how widely it is academically accepted, especially in the way I have used it. It has given me a useful perspective as formalising a triangulation process - the results from the subsidiary parts of my study (context analysis of websites - government - discourse analysis) can be integrated into one picture using the dispositive.

However, using the dispositive may imply that "there is a continuous field of knowledge penetrating all that we do" ( this is similar to some Hindu philosophies). I think it is more fair to state that "by imagining a continuous field of knowledge, some interesting results can been obtained". Further discussion of this might be very interesting (but perhaps inconclusive !).

To return to the dispositive itself, by trying to include discourse, events and physical reality into one system, we can develop new types of question which could be very interesting :-

  1. How is knowledge about objects used ? - Aim 1 begins "good quality food ……" This implies considerable knowledge by all the readers as to what constitutes 'good', 'quality' and also 'good quality'.
  2. How are external objects used in the discourse ? - The Government text uses only generalisations and concepts, and there are no specific objects mentioned (except perhaps the EU and CAP)
  3. Is the discourse intended to impact on external objects and physical reality ? - Yes, it is Government policy, and is intended to steer some aspects of the national interest
  4. How are events included in the text ? - they are omitted entirely.
I am offering my services as a "Discourse and Text analysis Specialist" using my
 
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