1. For Foucault's usage, see discursive formation.
2.Social formation: in Marxist theory, a particular social structure such as that of feudal or bourgeois society. Althusser saw Marxism as charting the history of social formations, which are determined ‘in the last instance’ by the economic base: see base and superstructure.
3.Cultural formation (Williams): any cultural group, artistic movement, or tendency with a shared aesthetic and political ideology and class position, such as the Bloomsbury group in England in the 1920s and 1930s. See also dominant forms; emergent forms; residual forms.