One of the main topics of theoretical discussions following 1968 was raised by Michel Foucault, who argued for the formative role of discourse — that discourse has regulating effects that extend not only to the structure of utterances, but also to speakers themselves. The shift in viewpoint that Foucault accomplished has provided a way to see discourse not only as а medium of power, but as power itself, a power that generates the subjectivity of those who use or gain access to use of a given discourse. Recognizing this power in discourse enabled Foucault to overturn the traditional conception of the individual as the ontological source of speech (“the creative force determining the initial position of writing”) and to redefine it as a function of the utterance itself that guarantees grammatical unity and the conceptual and stylistic cohesion of speech. This analytical perspective is applicable to the historical materials on the debates about the paths and methods of the Soviet cultural revolution that the victorious proletariat should employ in order to shore up the social victory of October 1917. The problems confronting Soviet theoreticians and agents of the cultural revolution had much in common with those that would be conceptualized later on in discussions from the 1970s and 1980s. The form of assimilation of this normative order and the mechanisms of ideological Interpellation, which imply the active involvement of Soviet citizens in production of discourses, are the central topics in this examination as they provide insight into how an idea becomes a material force and how it captures the masses. The immediate object of study is the worker and village correspondent (rabkor and selkor) movement of the 1920s as well as its understanding by theorists of the Left Front of the Arts.
Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Literature and Literary Theory