Structured Visions



New ways of thinking about social structure


  • Episode 63 Original scent


    Here’s how to get fascinated by language if you’re not already. This might even feel a little bit like a transcendent, or mystical experience. Find a window and look through it. Focus first on the scene outside the window. Then focus on the windowpane itself. Toggle your attention back forth between the windowpane and the … Continue reading Episode 63 Original scent

  • Episode 62 Who’s the boss? 


    What we think about language reveals what we think about society. Will changing our ideas about language help us create a more welcoming world? In this episode we explore performative utterances like ‘You’re the boss’ or ‘You’re in charge’. These are more horrifying than you might think. Often we think of language and power as … Continue reading Episode 62 Who’s the boss? 

  • Episode 61: Echos and their others


    How do we respond to knowing that we’re stuck in a language system that’s built to contradict itself, and a social structure built upon exchange? We have to find ways to outwit the confines of language. Read my very short story ‘Echos and their others’ on Find me on Twitter: @jodieclarkling And on Instagram: … Continue reading Episode 61: Echos and their others

  • Teaser for Season 2: Grammar for dreamers


    What’s new in Structured Visions, version 2.0? We’ll still be exploring social structure. We’ll still be geeking out about language. But now I’ll be linking up my discussions to my most recent experiment – combining creative writing with my love of linguistics. Find out more and read ‘Echos and their Others’ at I’m so … Continue reading Teaser for Season 2: Grammar for dreamers

  • Episode 60: How linguistics can save the world


    Welcome back to the Structured Visions podcast! In this episode we save the world. For me, saving the world means identifying ‘new ways of thinking about social structure’. Here are the things that need rethinking: the inequitable distribution of resources the isolation and marginalisation of difference an impulse toward self-destruction, and a lack of respect … Continue reading Episode 60: How linguistics can save the world

  • Episode 59: Enquiry, imagination and action


    Linguist, communication expert and digital media scholar Erika Darics asks ‘Shouldn’t scholars in Critical Discourse Studies be political activists? What is the point of exposing injustice if we stop there?’ In this episode I address Erika’s question. Spoiler alert: the answer is a resounding YES. And I celebrate the question ‘What is the point?’ Please … Continue reading Episode 59: Enquiry, imagination and action

  • Episode 58: Communities of Sara Mills


    In this episode I share the talk I gave at the Symposium at Sheffield Hallam University on January 12, 2017, in honour of Professor Sara Mills’s retirement. Many thanks to all who participated in the event, including fellow speakers, Chris Christie, Lucy Jones, Shân Wareing and Karen Grainger. Special thanks to Dave Sayers and Alice … Continue reading Episode 58: Communities of Sara Mills

  • Episode 57: Redneck roots


    Remember Christina from Episode 7? She’s the one who spared no time at all in getting as far away from Awayville, USA as she could. This week we return to Christina, and we get introduced to her mom… the redneck. Not that Christina’s embarrassed about that, or anything. Revisiting Christina’s conversation gives me the opportunity … Continue reading Episode 57: Redneck roots

  • Episode 56: A story about language


    artwork © Nico Vassilakis 2012 To engage in Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), the linguistic methodology I discussed last week, requires understanding language primarily as a form of communication that can be manipulated to represent the world in different ways. Indeed, language is often understood as a form of communication that is unique to human beings, … Continue reading Episode 56: A story about language

  • Episode 55: Critical condition


    The Oregonian/2003 This week I discuss the branch of linguistics – Critical Discourse Analysis, or CDA – that most informs my approach to grammatically analysing texts. It’s the ‘critical’ part of CDA that appeals to me most – an aim of most practitioners of CDA is to explore the role language plays in maintaining or … Continue reading Episode 55: Critical condition

  • Episode 54: I was so hungry


    Our explorations in phenomenology have led us to understand consciousness as submerged in the world of perception. I have made a case for understanding this phenomenological world  not as material world, but as a social world. I keep drawing upon Merleau-Ponty’s image of the blindfolded person who uses a stick to gain perceptual experience of … Continue reading Episode 54: I was so hungry

  • Episode 53: Submerged in the social world


    Remember Episode 51, when we made our way, blindfolded, around a room with nothing more than a cardboard tube to guide us? We delve deeper into the depths of phenomenology this week – almost literally – taking seriously Sara Ahmed’s description in her Queer Phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty’s perspective, in which ‘bodies are submerged, such that … Continue reading Episode 53: Submerged in the social world

  • Episode 52: I’m very grateful for you listening today


    Today I celebrate 52 weeks of religiously produced Structured Visions episodes! Enjoy a glass of bubbly with me while I share with you some of the motivations behind making the podcast and what I find so enjoyable about it. I also express my gratitude some figures who have been inspirations for me along the way: … Continue reading Episode 52: I’m very grateful for you listening today

  • Episode 51: A Message from the Emperor, Part 2


    We return to Kafka’s tale this week – a tale of a distance that can never be breached. What if we understood the ‘you’ in Kafka’s ‘Message from the Emperor’ – that lowly subject at the edge of the empire – as a self that’s attached to the social body? And what if the emperor, … Continue reading Episode 51: A Message from the Emperor, Part 2

  • Episode 50: A Message from the Emperor, Part 1


    We’ve been building up to some exciting ideas in these podcasts, many of which came to a head in Episode 47. Here are some of the key points: I’ve been recommending that when we think about social structure we draw upon a different binary than those that are often used. Rather than individual-society, or self-body, I’ve proposed human … Continue reading Episode 50: A Message from the Emperor, Part 1

  • Episode 49: Calling all ethnographers


    What do you do when your social vision doesn’t match that of those around you? Or if you come from a planet where the social world is a lot more harmonious than the one you’re noticing on earth? You could try ethnography. Ethnography and the spirit of exploration in today’s episode. Download Episode 49: Calling … Continue reading Episode 49: Calling all ethnographers

  • Episode 48: The magnificent brother from the new world


    I reached into my mailbag during today’s podcast and found this letter from a faithful listener. OK, it was my brother. Or, as he likes to call himself, ‘the magnificent brother from the new world’. Jodie, I’m catching up on podcasts and am in the middle of listening to #47. I hope you don’t mind but … Continue reading Episode 48: The magnificent brother from the new world

  • Episode 47: The grammatical face of the other


    We go back to middle school this week, looking once more at the This American Life episode dedicated to the subject, and taking up once again Levinas’s notions of alterity and face. Here’s what I said last week about middle school: Middle school is a social body that has a face. … I want us … Continue reading Episode 47: The grammatical face of the other

  • Episode 46: Middle school, embodied


    In an episode of This American Life, 14-year-old Annie relates middle school to a ‘whitewashed, brick-walled, iron-gated prison’ that she finally escapes from. Annie’s description gives us a good excuse to revisit the use of prison metaphors to describe oppressive social structures. Foucault’s Panopticon will spring to mind for many Structured Visions listeners, but we … Continue reading Episode 46: Middle school, embodied

  • Episode 45: Can’t you do something with her?


    More this week on the human body and the social body. What about the self? In this episode I go against the idea that there’s a one-to-one correspondence between the self and the human body – that each time we see a human body there’s a singular self/mind/consciousness that is attached to/merged with/inhabiting it. Did … Continue reading Episode 45: Can’t you do something with her?

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