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2019 | 1 | 233-255

Article title

The Hegemonic Subjectification in Ernesto Laclau’s Theory of Discourse


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This article discusses the character of hegemonic subjectification as it is seen by Ernesto Laclau. By explaining the concepts of the constitutive features and form of a hegemonically acquired political identity, such as antagonism, undecidability, overdetermination and decision, I define the social fields and dynamics of subjectification. At the same time, I adopt that such subjectification occurs within the boundaries of the particular (demand)–universal, i.e., the ideologically assigned view of identity as totality. Besides, in contrast to Laclau, I juxtapose the dialectically conceived form of the particular–universal relation with its poststructuralist Laclau’s version, and I try to prove that—contrary to Laclau—the idea of hegemony enjoys its vitality thanks to Theodor W. Adorno’s concept of negative dialectics. To determine the points of similarity of the two methods of constructing and deconstructing identity and subjectivity, I reject Elmar Flatschart’s incomparability argument. Lastly, I point out the earlier mentioned points of convergence: on Adorno’s part—the concept of proper names and the concept of constellation; on Laclau’s part—the concept of undecidability and decision which keep discourse ontologically and epistemologically open.


  • of Philosophy, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Grodzka 52, Poland.


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