For Foucault, ‘the general enunciative principle that governs a group of verbal performances’. The term is also used to refer to the particular discourse governed by this principle, in which different examples share the same patterns of concerns, perspectives, concepts, or themes. For instance, the discourses of medicine or economics. Said analysed orientalism as a discursive formation. Their relationship with non-discursive formations (institutions, political events, and economic processes) is one of relative autonomy. See also episteme.
Subjects: Media Studies — Literary Theory and Cultural Studies.