This article has explored the discursive construction of a hegemonic and counter hegemonic discourse. It has considered these discourses as competing strategies for social change in a time of crisis. The analysis of narrative has revealed that the epistemological dimension is most developed in the dominant discourse, while the ontological dimension is most prominent in the counter hegemonic discourse. It is also in these dimensions that a strong basis for power and legitimacy is being constructed. The president legitimates his position of power through his legitimate function, but also by claiming to dispose of absolute knowledge. The EZLN legitimates itself through its identity (pure people, the true inheritors of Mexico's national past) and through article 39 of the Constitution. In the interdiscursive analysis of the hegemonic discourse, representation is stronger developed than genre and style. It defines its program at the level of discourse and materializes it through the implementation of modifications of the law, and new social and economic programs. Formal power is inculcated in a formal style, the genre exposes an authoritarian approach rather than the dialogue it pretends to establish with the public. The counter hegemonic discourse demonstrates a dynamic relation between discourse, style and genre. It has a clear representation of its view on political society. It does not pretend to create the answers, but the political space to define the answers in dialogue with civil society. They pretend to do this through the organisation of innovative podia and events. The view on power expressed in their discourse is enacted in the genre (a convocation for civil society to participate in the CND) and inculcated in its style: the baklava somehow hides their particular identity of indigenous people; the plural space they fight for is equally important for all other minorities. Also, it is not their point of view that matters: they seek to serve the will of the majority.
The analysis of these discourses as articulations of new strategies that compete for universal acceptance, has shown that each discourse attempts to fix meaning around a particular nodal point: modernisation in the case of the government, democracy in the case of the EZLN. These nodal points fix the meaning of a series of key signifiers. A new articulation goes beyond the merely discursive: it is the incentive for the materialization of new policies, and the definition of new values and goals. The analysis of relations of equivalence and difference has shown that the discourse of the EZLN dissolves the relation of equivalence (one Mexican people) in different ways. They separate civil society from the ruling elite in order to create a pluralist democracy. They name all the different indigenous groups in order to create a pluralist nationalism.
Though the government has been more successful in fulfilling its goals announced in the informes than the EZLN,
this social movement has been successful in many different ways. It has strengthened civil society and it has enjoyed a world wide
sympathy and attention of intellectuals, politicians and social movements. It has developed a series of innovative practices that
may be of value to other new social movements. It has developed a remarkable discourse. It has revealed some of the tensions and
contradictions related to nationalism in the global era that is relevant not only to Mexico, but to all nations with ethnic
minorities within their borders.
Índice general I Siguiente
Volumen 22 (2005)