This issue of "Discourse & Society" explores some of the discourses employed in the debate over the risks and benefits associated with modern biotechnologies. The contributions to this volume apply a range of discourse analytic techniques to the study of the discursive relationships between science and the public, science and the media, science and policy, science and globalization, science and race, science and gender and science and consumers in the spheres of genomics, medical genetics, genetically modified foods and transgenic crops. Two articles examine the press coverage surrounding the 2001 announcement that the sequencing of the human genome had been all but accomplished. Two articles explore discourses surrounding medical genetics. Two articles analyse debates over GM food and GM crops. We hope that this volume has contributed not only to enriching the field of critical discourse analysis, but also to opening up a new field that one could call 'critical metaphor analysis'. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Discursive psychology (DP) is the broad title for a range of research done in different disciplinary contexts - communication, language, sociology and psychology. Articles in this Special Issue will, take various social and psychological categories and consider their role in specific interactional settings. Our aim here is to set out three main strands of contemporary discursive psychology as a way of emphasizing some of the exciting and progressive features of the collection presented in this volume. One of the articles provides a clear demonstration of the value of taking a DP perspective on cognition, as well as showing how documenting institutional interaction in this way can facilitate engagement with practitioners. Another article set out to develop a discursive psychology of institutional talk, by examining how body size is evoked in a particular institutional context. Another article builds on the strand of discursive psychological work focused on ideology and responsibility. It provides an excellent template for examining online discussions, identifying a recurrent practice used by participants to manage possible problems with veganism. Another article focuses on ethnicity. This articles provide a wonderful demonstration of the tensions and dilemmas associated with teachers' attempts to provide positive images of people from other cultures to their pupils. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
In this article, I discuss extracts of television footage from the vantage point of discourse: how the reported event ‘comes to mean’, how it becomes intelligible through television’s meaning-making operations. Specifically, I study the mediation of the 11 September event as one of distant suffering, drawing upon the work of Luc Boltanski (1999) on morality, media and politics. My aim is to identify the ways in which the television spectacle engages the affective potential of the spectator and evokes a specific disposition to act upon the suffering – thus, its moralizing effects on the spectator. First, I introduce a ‘politics of pity’, a politics that aims to resolve the space–time dimensions of mediation in order to establish a sense of ‘proximity’ to the events and so engage the spectator. Second, I contrast three different modes (or ‘topics’) of representing suffering, by reference to three extracts from the Danish national television channel: street shots of Manhattan, just after the collapse of the Twin Towers; the summary of the day’s events, with shots from the second plane collision and President Bush’s first public statement; and a long shot of the Manhattan skyline burning. I describe each ‘topic’ in terms of its space–time dimensions, its distinctive semiotic elements, and the affective and moral horizons it opens up for the spectator.
This article analyzes a representative newspaper article on transition to a market economy in Romania, in particular on the role of the trade union movement, by H.-R. Patapievici, a prominent public intellectual. The analytical framework combines critical discourse analysis (CDA), theories of argumentation, in particular pragma-dialectics, and a theory of modality in terms of distinct types of ‘conversational backgrounds’ of premises that arguers draw on in reasoning. I propose this integrated framework as an original contribution to the development of CDA as a method of textual analysis. I discuss a variety of argumentative fallacies and the way in which they prevent substantive dialogue with a range of relevant views. I relate the protagonist’s ‘strategic maneuvering’ to the pursuit of political strategies and to particular forms of recontextualization of liberal discourses in post-communism. I analyze the normative backgrounds that underlie argumentation in terms of conflicting moral economies and the way in which ‘strategic maneuvering’ functions to obscure ethical perspectives grounded in social justice and individual rights, and universalize and naturalize a particular ideological and moral perspective.
Racism has taken on subtle forms that are hard to notice unless given careful attention. In the era of globalization, interpreting racism becomes more complicated in that globalization intensifies both racist and anti-racist reactions. This article examines how racism in the global age has evolved into a subtler form. Using both frame analysis and critical discourse analysis, I examine the Korean media’s discourse around migrants in the past two decades (1990–2009). Findings show that the dominant attitude taken by the Korean media toward migrants has been positive, which is counter-intuitive considering Korea’s notorious ethnocentrism. However, a critical discursive approach reveals that these positive discourses have a variety of effects: they ironically ‘victimize’ and ‘objectify’ migrants, overlook the question of how to empower migrants, and reveal misunderstandings over what it means to embrace diversity. I conclude that in Korea, where the tension between globalization and nationalism is intense, racial prejudice becomes more disguised under the cliché of political correctness, such as the rhetoric of multiculturalism and diversity.
In this article, I present an analysis of the discursive response of two British politicians – the Prime Minister David Cameron and the leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband – to the riots that took place in British cities in August 2011 and the Occupy protests of later in the same year. Considering this response as, following Van Leeuwen, recontextualisation of the events with which the two politicians are concerned, I suggest that in both cases a particular neoliberal discourse is employed that serves to moralise what is in actual fact material, class-based opposition. Cameron suggests that the riots are indicative of a ‘moral collapse’ in contemporary Britain, and Miliband, superficially aligning himself with the movement, suggests that the Occupy protests indicate a ‘value gap’. In both cases, I argue, the discursive response serves as an attempt to assert as hegemonic a substantively identical moralised neoliberal understanding of the inequalities of contemporary capitalism. This is an understanding – a discourse – that I suggest is both a contributor to these inequalities and a false representation of their true nature.
This article uses a combination of critical discourse analysis (CDA) and corpus linguistics (CL) to investigate the discursive realization of the security operation for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Drawing on Didier Bigo’s (2008) conceptualization of the ‘ban-opticon’, it addresses two questions: (1) What distinctive linguistic features are used in documents relating to security for London 2012? (2) How is Olympic security realized as a discursive practice in these documents? Findings suggest that the documents indeed realized key features of the ban-opticon: exceptionalism, exclusion and prediction, as well as what we call ‘pedagogization’. Claims were made for the exceptional scale of the Olympic events; predictive technologies were proposed to assess the threat from terrorism; and documentary evidence suggests that access to Olympic venues was being constituted to resemble transit through national boundaries.
English educational legislation in the 1980s and early 1990s occasioned major reforms in the funding and management of post-compulsory educational institutions. Out went largely autonomous Universities, Polytechnics answerable for their actions to local government, and independent Colleges of Higher Education; in came Higher Education Funding Councils and Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs). After legislation in 1992, all were able to call themselves universities. Driving this redefinition of educational realities was a view that higher education had been too long `provider centred' rather than `customer centred', that it had to expand and change to take fully into account the new needs of industry, business and the professions. It had to become a more responsible user of public funds, to demonstrate it was capable of managing them effectively and efficiently, and provide value for money. Higher education had to become `business like'. This article examines one facet of the transformation through which English higher education is still passing. It analyses the Mission Statements which all HEIs have had to produce, to determine in what ways they position the HEIs, represent what they do, and relate them to other participants `in the wider community'.
This article investigates the public hearings of a northeast Ohio city’s council meetings. Using grounded theory, conversation analysis (CA), and critical discourse analysis (CDA), the article examines the discourse exchanges between government officials and the general public during public hearings, access to the legislative process leading up to the public hearings, and access to the agenda that controls the topics and method in which the meetings are run. Results demonstrate that although the public has access to the public hearings, their access is controlled and restricted not only during the hearings but in the entire legislative, agenda-setting, and decision-making processes preceding the hearings.
In order to analyze existing research on theinteraction between Korean business owners and African-American customers, thisstudy explores the intercultural interactions between these two groups througha discourse analysis. Data were collected over a nine-month period fromtwo Korean immigrant-owned stores (a beauty supply store and a jewelrystore) located in African American communities in a U.S. Midwestern city. The study focused on interactions that lasted longer than just brief routineactivities. The interactions were recorded, to ensure that the exact dialog wascaptured.Contrary to many previously published studies conducted in largeurban cities, the results of this analysis show that the majority ofinteractions between these groups were friendly and harmonious. These positive interactions were achieved through a number of steps,including use of in-group identity markers, solidarity building by sharingattitudes, use of compliments, initiation of personal communication, and jokesand laughter. Extracts of eight different interactions are provided to supportthe findings.This study does not contend that there has never beentension between these two groups, but rather the goal is to demonstrate thatpositive interactions are possible. (SRD)
In this article, I set out new methods of analysis in critical discourse analysis. I develop ways to examine multiple genres over time, based in the discourse-historical approach, and ways to analyse the representation of social actors, based in social actor analysis. These methods provide a detailed way of using critical discourse analysis diachronically for multiple texts, analysing the textual, intertextual and contextual. I argue that because there is not a binary relationship between power at an elite level and resistance at a grassroots level, power and resistance rather being present everywhere, critical discourse analysis can and should examine simultaneously multiple societal ‘levels’. My methods help show to what extent more marginal speakers can make themselves heard. I explain how these methods were usefully applied to a study of the role that immigrant organisations have played in discussions about immigration control in the UK since the 1960s.
In this article, we examine the extent to which membership categorization analysis (MCA) can inform an understanding of reasoning within the public domain where morality, policy and cultural politics are visible (Smith and Tatalovich, 2003). Through the examination of three examples, we demonstrate how specific types of category device(s) are a ubiquitous feature of accountable practice in the public domain where morality matters and public policy intersect. Furthermore, we argue that MCA provides a method for analysing the mundane mechanics associated with everyday cultural politics and democratic accountability assembled and presented within news media and broadcast settings.
The present research aimed at spotting any possible biased coverage a typical Western newspaper such as The Economist gives to the issue of Iran’s nuclear power program at large and specifically to the way in which the main actors involved in the controversy are portrayed and the actions thereof – most notably, the act of delegitimating Iran’s nuclear program – are represented. To this end, a critical discourse analytic approach centered around Wodak’s ‘discursive strategies’ and Van Leeuwen’s representational resources was applied to 23 argumentative articles of The Economist, all dealing exclusively with Iran’s nuclear contention. The results showed that the differential treatment the Western paper gave to the issue at hand, in terms of scope and complexity, was in line with the advocated policy of the aforementioned paper, that is imposing more sanctions on the country.
This article documents the operation of multimodal and rhetorical strategies in cosmetic surgery leaflets, with a focus on the interplay between the verbal and visual channels. It describes how advertising discourse exploits the image of an idealized female body in order to achieve its economic goals. Recipients are targeted through the application of the prevalent ideology of femininity, which in the Western context is increasingly dependent on patterns of consumption of body-oriented products and services against the background of (male) expectations of the female body ideal. It is argued that in this situation, which merges the private with the public and in which women willingly participate in the self-perpetuating ideology of male-defined femininity, women may, for various reasons, identify with the super-ideal sexualized images of women offered to them, while indulging in a mixture of fantasy and reality and sharing in the guilty knowledge that their own imperfect bodies need to be fixed. This article points out that such ideologies are very effectively studied through their multimodal realizations, where the visual mode, in particular, can non-verbally draw on and reproduce stereotyped representations.
This article considers the influential social theoretical argument that relates the proliferation of mediated knowledge and information with the emergence of `mediated' democracy, a new form of democracy based on nondialogical deliberation rather than collective decision making (see for example Thompson, 1995). Drawing on sociological theory, media studies and discourse analysis, the paper uses empirical material to argue that the facilitation of deliberative processes among audiences is a matter not only of changing institutional arrangements (towards a regulation of marketized media) but also of changing the mode of articulation of media discourse itself; even though the latter may be a consequence of the former, each is a sine qua non for deliberative democracy. The meta-argument of this paper is that high social theory, which engages centrally with information flows and structures, should also incorporate a theoretical account of the discursive aspects of information, and of the symbolic resources that constitute aspects of the social world in the field of media.
This study investigates meetmarket, a South African online community for men who are looking for other men. Utilising a quantitative approach to queer linguistics, the article presents a textual analysis of a large corpus of personal profiles in order to map meetmarket’s ‘libidinal economy’. More specifically, the article seeks to tease out the ways in which the members of this community valorise, and thereby make more desirable, certain identities at the expense of others. This then makes it possible to understand the extent to which these men (re)produce or, conversely, contest and overturn dominant forms of social categorisation in their expressions of same-sex desire.
Face-to-face interaction between Korean immigrant retailers and African-American customers in Los Angeles often leaves members of each group feeling as if the other has behaved in insultingly inappropriate ways. Twenty-five service encounters involving both African-American and immigrant Korean customers were video-recorded in a liquor store and transcribed for analysis. These encounters reveal divergent communicative patterns between immigrant Koreans and African-Americans. The contrasting forms of participation that occur in these encounters are used by both storekeepers and customers to explain negative attributions that they make about each other. I argue that the differing forms of participation documented in service encounters - and the ways in which they are interpreted - are simultaneously a result of (1) cultural and linguistic differences between storekeepers and customers in service encounter behavior and expectations; and (2) social inequality in America, which shapes both the local context in which these encounters occur and the social assumptions that storekeepers and customers bring to the stores.
From the first recognition of AIDS as a disease, it was publicly conceptualized as a ‘gay plague’. In response, health education and diversity training sought to counter this association claiming that AIDS is an ‘equal opportunity’ virus - that it can affect anyone. In this article, we analyse talk about HIV/AIDS within a data corpus of 13 tape-recorded lesbian and gay awareness training sessions. Counter to the way in which interactions are described in the lesbian and gay awareness training literature, we found that it was trainees, rather than trainers, who pursued discussions about HIV/AIDS, and who did so in order to claim the ‘de-gaying’ of AIDS, which they treated as representing a ‘non-prejudiced’ position. By contrast, and in response to trainees’ insistence on de-gaying AIDS, trainers were ‘re-gaying’ AIDS. Our analysis highlights that in these sessions - designed explicitly to counter homophobic attitudes - apparently ‘factual’ claims and counter-claims about infection rates and risk groups are underpinned by essentially contested definitions of what constitutes a ‘homophobic’ attitude. We conclude by pointing to the value of detailed analysis of talk-in-interaction for understanding professional practices, and suggest strategies for improving the pedagogic value of training.
From a sample of 51 major international airlines, we offer a critical discourse analysis of so-called loyalty or frequent-flyer programmes and their related business-class services. As examples of cultural capital par excellence, these seemingly innocuous discursive formations act as significant agents of, and channels for, globalist relations of power in the context of international travel and tourism. The principal logic of frequent-flyer programmes hinges on establishing a synthetically personalized (see Fairclough, 1989) framework by which ‘loyalty’ is defined and rewarded, and by which privilege is then awarded and regulated. However, what actually sustains this commodified interpersonal appeal is the airlines' skilful reworking of symbolic capital, their manipulation of the illusion of distinction, and the exploitation of social anxieties about status. This is all achieved through a series of discursive strategies that stylize(see Cameron, 2000a) ‘preferred’ passengers as elite. Our analysis of frequent-flyer programmes and business-class services exposes some of the ways social privilege and superiority are nowadays measured, as well as the normative production of luxury. We argue that, for the sake of global marketability and profit, the semiotic realization of super-elitism by the airline industry powerfully ‘re-organizes' anachronistic modes of tourism while also reformulating very traditional notions of class distinction.
This article focuses on irony in the representation of the privatization of the Italian airline, Alitalia, in the Italian, British and American press. We rely on a previous study (Fusari, 2010, 2011a) of the metaphors found in three electronic corpora containing all the articles published on this event by Repubblica and Corriere della Sera in Italian, The Guardian, The Times and the Financial Times in British English, and The New York Times and the Washington Post in American English, during the six months (August 2008–January 2009) that led to Alitalia’s acquisition by Compagnia Aerea Italiana (CAI), a private consortium of Italian investors. The analysis also focuses on the Italian translation of a Financial Times article which appeared in Corriere della Sera. Through the use of undertranslation, which involves the elimination of a crucial metonymy, the criticism of the Financial Times’s irony is considerably reduced in Italian.
We explore a dialogical conception of experience as experience of otherness, in order to suggest how to put together its socio-linguistic constitution and its phenomenologically non-reflexive nature. Through the analysis of a piece of conversation accounting for the flow of tension during verbal interaction, we argue that the felt and lived character of experience is attached to the positioning efforts among interlocutors within a discursive field. In contrast to attempts at conciliating a normative notion of social discourse with a phenomenological notion of immediate experience, we suggest that experience is discursive in itself insofar as it involves the lived or felt encounter with others, and that it can be accounted for using several, old and new, discourse analysis tools, for instance from Discursive Psychology and Conversation Analysis.
This article uses a close pragmatic analysis to examine three discourses of the menopause, each with identifiably different health and lifespan ideologies, each used to further its own set of economic and/or political agendas. We argue that these texts have potentially powerful influential effects on women's interpretations of their own `change of life'. Discourse 1 (the `pharmaceutical' discourse) is represented by pharmaceutical brochures, which construct the menopause as medical `pathology' caused by physiological decrement and generally advocate correcting or suppressing symptoms by `treatment' with hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Discourse 2 (the `alternative' therapy discourse) as represented in popular printed media texts, rejects both subjection to medical/pharmaceutical intervention, and many of the claims made for HRT, and recommends that women take personal and active `control' by using `natural' remedies and making lifestyle adjustments. Although in ideological conflict, both these discourses are arguably ageist in their reproduction of negative perceptions of menopause. Discourse 3 (the emancipatory feminist discourse) reconstructs the menopause as a positively significant rite of passage — a time of re-evaluation and new-found freedom. Like Discourse 2, feminist discourse rejects the medicalization of menopause and the claims Discourse 1 makes for HRT. But, in addition, Discourse 3 rejects the dominant medical view of the cultural meaning of menopause, with the end of menstruation entextualized as gain, rather than loss, and redefines female midlife as a time of new freedom, wisdom and personal insight.
Using critical discourse analysis, this article seeks to study the ‘reproduction of racism’ against Muslim Americans in the United States Congress based on the case of the congressional hearing held on March 10, 2011, by the Homeland Security Committee of the United States House of Representatives and entitled ‘The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and That Community’s Response’. The study reveals polarization among US representatives on the issue. Two competing discourses emerge. On the one hand, the supporters of the hearing dismiss opposition as hysteria and an irresponsible call to political correctness that doesn’t consider the looming threat from Muslim radicalization emanating from ‘discredited’ Islamic organizations such as CAIR (Council on American–Islamic Relations), ‘jihadist’ imams, and an acquiescent silent Muslim majority. The opposition attacks the hearing as a case of unjustified stereotyping against a whole religious community, an action that is counterproductive and ‘un-American’. While the first discourse introduces the Muslim community as the problem, the second discourse assesses it as part of the solution. The hearing mutes the voices of major Muslim-American organizations, as no representatives of mainstream Islamic organizations are called upon to testify as expert witnesses and some are expressly discredited, as in the case of CAIR.
This article examines 15 quizzes in teenage girls' magazines: the American `Teen, Seventeen and Sassy, and the Brazilian Capricho, over the period 1994-5. It argues that the genre quiz, an apparently playful feature in these magazines, is not as harmless as it appears to be. In addition to encouraging girls towards self-scrutiny, quizzes work as `disciplinary instruments', aiming at the heterosexist socialization of teenage girls. Analysis of the macro-structure of the quizzes reveals a problem-solution structure is used to accomplish this. The producers of these texts judge, evaluate, and classify girls as either `good' or `bad', and tend to prescribe and proscribe types of behavior from a heterosexist perspective. The high informality and ludic appearance of quizzes, therefore, disguise what seems to be an important agenda: to discipline girls to be `good'. Peer Reviewed http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/67516/2/10.1177_0957926598009004006.pdf
This article is based on fieldwork in Guyana on the legitimation of Amerindian voices within official development for a. It focuses on the material and textual context to development discourse and the relationship between legal documents and situated discourse practice within this. Documents produced by Makushi communities and the government are analysed in terms of: (i) the participant roles they construct and the representations they implicitly construe; and (ii) the meaning of such stereotyping as a move within a wider and more dynamic discourse. The possibility of exploiting discursive tensions between official texts, situated development practice and the attitudes of key participants is then considered.
Political socialization is an interdisciplinary subfield that addresses questions surrounding the inter-generational transmission of political engagement, values, and preferences. Through close analysis of face-to-face conversations about political issues, events, and ideas in Los Angeles families, this article brings a linguistic anthropological and conversation analytic perspective to bear on the study of political socialization by demonstrating the key role played by discursive and interactional practices. Children in this corpus take an active role in their own socialization, as they use a range of conversational strategies – particularly questions and repair – to initiate and sustain their participation in political conversations. Parents in this corpus vary widely in their tolerance for and treatment of children’s questions: some parents attempt to shut down or re-orient lines of questioning, while others use children’s questions as teaching moments in which to state values explicitly. Several possible explanations for the variance in parents’ uptake are considered, and parents’ responses are examined for their implicit political messages or stances. Finally, the article suggests that many of the strengths of language socialization – including its focus on interaction, its consideration of child agency, and its emphasis on socialization as an ongoing process – make it a useful framework for those who study political socialization.
We are experiencing a time during which there is a clear crisis of values, meaning a distancing with regard to the problems of socially disadvantaged groups. This article’s main purpose is to discuss whether this situation has had any impact on solidarity discourse towards immigrants. To fulfill our objective, we will analyse the written messages in a visitors’ book used for a sit-in that took place in Murcia, Spain, in 2001. We selected 100 of these messages to determine the degree of involvement that visitors show towards immigrants. In this regard, we have proposed four processes of involvement, from low to high: proximity, accompaniment, support and identification. We will analyse these processes from a critical and constructive viewpoint in an attempt to determine which is the most common and which combinations of processes are preferred by the authors of the messages. In addition, we will focus on the use of key expressions, terms of intensification, and argumentative structures as basic elements for the interpretation of these processes of involvement.
Pro-anorexia is an internet-based movement that hails eating disorders as a lifestyle choice. This article aims to reveal pro-anorexia members’ underlying conceptualisations of anorexia that contribute to the maintenance of the disorder. Cognitive linguistic analysis was undertaken on a corpus of data collected from systematically selected pro-anorexia websites. The findings show that the members structure their eating disorder experiences through two central conceptual metaphors: ANOREXIA IS A SKILL and ANOREXIA IS A RELIGION. It is argued that these structures represent an extension of, rather than a radical break from, the accepted conceptualisations of female beauty in Western society. This view challenges the legitimacy of public anger that has been directed towards the pro-anorexia movement and its members.
The Leicester Mercury has been identified as a model newspaper by the British government because it has been seen as central in communicating positive representations of ethnic minorities in the city of Leicester, and to play a role in avoiding the rioting experienced by many British cities with large ethnic minority populations. However, critical discourse and social actor analyses reveal that representations in the newspaper largely conceal the real structural reasons for the absence of rioting, instead addressing multiculturalism and antiracism through discourses of abstracted `talking' and `sharing' — a `talking cure'. This is more in harmony with the ideology of an advertiser-driven commercial newspaper, buzz of local commerce and the new definition of our cities-as-brands.
This introductory essay to the Discourse & Society special issue on Queer Linguistic Approaches to Discourse discusses the theoretical underpinnings of the connection between discourse studies and Queer Theory within Queer Linguistics – a strand of research that has recently gained great momentum. It outlines basic issues in Queer Theory and their repercussions in Queer Linguistic debates and research. The Queer Linguistic objective to provide critical heteronormativity research is then related to Queer Discourse Studies in its various forms and approaches. An overview of the contributions to the special issue and suggestions for future research conclude the article.
The current article addresses person deixis in the last three speeches of the ousted president of Tunisia (OPT) from the perspectives of critical discourse analysis (CDA) and cognitive-pragmatics. It takes deixis to be individuated in the ‘indexical field’ by the deictic center, who fills them from within the social field at his/her discretion with ‘social roles’. The way the filling takes place is a function of social proximity to or distance from the deictic center, which manipulates the constructed categories either closer to the CENTER or to the PERIPHERY of the image schema. In particular, it is argued that the OPT as a deictic center has constructed in the first two speeches two deictic categories, which would be called ‘wandering WE’ after and a peripheral THEY, through which he tried to maintain the political status quo and blame responsibility for the events on others. However, in the last speech, the OPT constructed two indexical dyads, namely I-YOU and WE-THEY. This shift is explained as an effort on the part of OPT to reproduce social power abuse, dominance, and inequality by way of making political concessions. Despite this, the shift is not felt to have created communality and closeness with the addressees since the policy of exclusion, authority, and domination precluded these concessions from being persuasive enough for the ‘Jasmine Revolt’ in Tunisia not to resist this power and go for regime change.
Yasser Arafat was a key figure in the political life of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. As Palestinian president, he was a central player in negotiations over the most contentious issue of the time: Middle East peace. But although his significance is unquestioned, his status is ambiguous: for some he was a freedom fighter, for others a terrorist. It is interesting, therefore, to observe the ways in which different world governments marked the death of Arafat in November 2004, in their official condolence messages. Using the tools of critical discourse analysis (CDA) and systemic functional linguistics (SFL), this article treats the diplomatic condolence message as a recognizable text type that has much to tell us about how governments signal and construct ideological positions and in doing so `enact' the international community. Yes Yes
Racism and anti-racism can be seen as duelling discourses which constantly cross-reference each other. Using interview data from interviews with working-class Maori and Pakeha, this article analyses the ways in which anti-racism expressed by ordinary New Zealanders engages directly with dominant racist discourses. The article explores some of the themes and linguistic devices identified in Wetherell and Potter's classic analysis of middle-class racism in New Zealand, arguing that counterhegemonic discourses challenging these themes are alive and well, and being used to resist racism at a grass-roots level. It specifically analyses challenges to the notions that resources should be used productively; that Maori should appreciate that they are much better off than other indigenous people; that there are legitimate and illegitimate ways of protesting; and that present generations are not responsible for mistakes of the past. It argues that many of the same rhetorical devices utilized in racist talk are also found in the articulation of these arguments, indicating that common linguistic resources are the shared weaponry through which an ideological battle about rights and discrimination is being waged.
Drawing upon Conversation Analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis, and in the frame of what is currently called discursive psychology, we open up a significant macro-social problem - indeed a global problem - to inspection at a local level by reference to a naturally-occurring instance of talk-in-interaction. The problem is the documented increase in diagnoses of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in recent years - particularly for boys, particularly in Anglophone countries, and particularly by reference to school-based conduct - and its consequent ‘treatment’ by amphetamines (including Ritalin [methylphenidate]) and related medications (Singh, 2002a). The local instance of talk-in-interaction is a transcript of a diagnostic session involving a young boy, his parents and a paediatrician. We aim to show that the local instance can shed light on just how routine and mundane it is for children to be positively diagnosed and medicated merely on presentation for the possibility of the ‘disorder’, even when parents are manifestly sceptical about (even resistive to) the diagnosis and its methodological grounds.
In this article we draw on the methods developed by conversation analysis and discursive psychology in order to examine how participants manage rules, fact and accountability in a specific ideological area. In particular, we focus on how participants in online discussions on veganism manage the problem posed by alleged health threats such as vitamin deficiency. We show how speakers systematically attribute responsibility for possible deficiencies to individual recipients rather than veganism. The analysis focuses on a conditional formulation that participants use in response to the recurrent question about supposed health problems in a vegan diet (for example: if you eat a varied diet, there shouldn't be any problems). This specific construction presents the absence of health problems as a predictable fact, depending on individual practices. The use of a script formulationtogether with a modal expressionenables participants to blend morality with logic, and thereby to indirectly attribute responsibility and blame to individual rule-followers. The modal construction (including qualifications as certainly, easilyand in my opinion) also allows speakers to display a concern for saying no more than they can be sure of, thus enhancing the trustworthiness of their accounts. It is suggested that this way of managing rules and accountability may also be found in and relevant for other (than) ideological domains.
Although increasing research attention has been given to the discourse of legitimacy in assisting mergers and acquisitions in Scandinavian countries, scarce research has been done on this topic in different geopolitical contexts. This study therefore aims to investigate the discursive struggle of delegitimizing a Chinese state-owned company investment in the Australian mining sector. We used a historical critical approach to further develop the theoretical and empirical capacity for analysing legitimacy discourses. Specifically, we have extended the research on the discourse of legitimacy research in three aspects. First, we have identified political-ideological discourse as a prominent discourse in addition to the commonly acknowledged rationalistic and nationalistic discourse. Second, we have found that the use of legitimation strategies is purposive and deliberate. Moralization strategy, in particular, was extensively used in a range of discourses (rationalistic, nationalistic and political-ideological) to delegitimize the proposed merger as not being aligned with the national interest. As a result, the legitimacy discourse failed and the deal collapsed.
In different parts of the world the 9/11 terrorist attacks have been localized and negotiated by mainstream media and in other public discourses in rather diverse ways. This article explores how young Serbian intellectuals recontextualized G.W. Bush's ‘war on terrorism’ discourse in order to legitimize, retroactively, Serbian violence against Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo during the 1990s. We go beyond Bernstein's concept of recontextualization, defined as representation of social events, and extend it to the notion of relocation of a discourse from its original context/practice to its appropriation within another context/practice. Our analysis shows that the informants recycle and appropriate the discourse of ‘the war on terrorism’ by using an analogy. They equate the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon with the former Yugoslav wars and they position and represent former Yugoslav Muslims as terrorists. Our informants continue to use the same principle of exclusion, celebrated by the US administration, extending the group of the ‘good’ (‘we’) to cover all ‘Western/European/Christians’, including the Serbs. The ‘evil’ (‘other’) group is represented as the ‘they’ group, encompassing all the ‘non-Western/non-European/non-Christian/Muslims’. Informants also appropriate the discourse by extending the meaning of the word ‘terrorism’ to all the violent acts carried out by Muslims regardless of the specificities of different politicalhistorical contexts.
On Monday 21 September 1998, the videotapes of president Clinton's 17 August testimony to the grand jury in the Clinton—Lewinsky affair were released to the public. In this article we analyse reports of the event in eight British national newspapers with a special interest in how Clinton's nonverbal behaviour (NVB) in the grand jury testimony is presented, evaluated and used to evaluate his overall `performance' and political persona. Overall, we find somewhat predictable differences with the broadsheet and left-leaning newspapers being more positive in their evaluation of Clinton's NVB than the tabloids and right-leaning newspapers. However, we also observe instances of the genre and ideological cross-over when this pattern is not always clearly upheld. We also discuss the susceptibility of NVB to metapragmatic commentary and manipulation.
In this paper, we examine the effects of location in the social structure and communication processes on whites' responses to societal change conceptions of equality (structural equality): one that entailed beliefs about abstract notions of equality and one that pertained to concrete reference-based (blacks') conception of inequality. A recent national survey provided the data to test eleven hypotheses derived from theorizing in the area of stratification beliefs. Using covariance analysis, all our predictions received at least partial support. We found that those less well placed in the social system were more likely to embrace institutional change solutions to inequality and that those who attend more to television news were more likely to embrace structural racial inequality. On the other hand, while both television news and newspaper exposure had a positive influence on interpersonal discussion, the relationships of this variable with one of the equality measures indicated that engaging in more interpersonal discussion lead to less of an endorsement of structural racial inequality. Finally, those who embraced the general conception of equality were less likely to endorse race-specific structural inequality. We outlined some implications of our findings for social policy with some suggestions for further research. Peer Reviewed http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/68165/2/10.1177_0957926591002003001.pdf
This article engages in a theory of linguistic inequality under conditions of globalization. Starting from a development of the notion of voice as the capacity to make sense, and a development of the organized and patterned `poetic' structure of actual discourse, it analyses data from police interviews with immigrants, witness statements in the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and data from classroom learning environments in South Africa and Belgium. Throughout these analyses, we see that detailed attention to poetic patterning is required in order to reconstruct the voice articulated by people whose voice's would otherwise not be heard. This insight has a bearing on our understanding of competence, and issues of competence become more and more pressing in globalizing contexts.
This article contends performance comedy serves as a mechanism for expressing ethnic and racial stereotypes in public and presents a challenge to studies of contemporary racial discourse which suggest overt racetalk in public is on the decline. In this ethnographic study on the training of stand-up comedians, I probe how comedy students learn to use rhetorical performance strategies to couch ethnic and racial stereotypes in more palatable ways, in order to be ‘funny’ rather than ‘offensive’ in public. Using critical discourse analysis (CDA), this study illustrates the role elites play in managing racial discourse. It is found that white versus non-white comedy students are taught to engage in racial discourse in different ways. Whites are taught distance and denial strategies which allow them to engage in overt racial commentary and deny racism or racist intent, while non-whites are often encouraged to engage in racial stereotypes uncritically. This study shows how strategic use of humor allows the ‘constraints’ on current racial discourse, on whites in particular, to be broken, suggesting a new phase of color-blind racism may be underway.
This article addresses how 'Otherness' is co-construed in booktalk in a Swedish school. The data consist of video-recorded teacher-led booktalk sessions, involving small groups of pupils in grades 4–7. Seven of the eight books discussed were, at least partly, set in settings foreign to the pupils. We found that a basic teacher device for constructing the 'Other', was to implicitly or explicitly compare a group of others with the participant children themselves, 'us Swedish children', accomplishing 'Otherness' by foregrounding dif ferences, setting up a series of implicit or explicit contrasts between 'them' and 'us'. Such contrasts concerned: literacy and language skills (Extracts 1 and 2), ways of 'sticking together' (Extracts 3 and 4), as well as contrasts in terms of the distribution of material educational resources and work demands on children (Extracts 5–8). Moreover, the last extracts also illustrate how pupils co-construct the teachers' implicit or explicit underlying moral agendas.
In this article I shall explore discursive constructions of ethnicity, and in particular notions of ‘Polishness’, among members of three-generation families living in the Polish town of Zgorzelec, on the border with Germany. The data come from a Europe-wide ethnographic project studying communities living on the borders between the EU and its ascendant nations, funded by the European Commission’s 5th Framework Programme (www.borderidentities.com). The most characteristic feature of the data concerning ethnicity is a clash between my informants’ declared identity (mainly constructed in terms of Polishness) and the constructions of Polishness. Even though the latter is usually described in negative terms, almost all interviewees choose to describe themselves in ethnic terms from the spectrum of labels they have been given. Drawing upon Billig et al.’s (1988) concept of ideological dilemma, I shall argue that the apparent contradiction in my informants’ discourse of identity is a result of two different ideological bases underpinning it: the lived ideology accomplished in their discourse clashes with the intellectual ideology explicitly adopted in their declarations of identity. Finally, I shall discuss this shift in terms of the particular place of residence of the members of Polish community right of the national border. I shall also explore the role of the interviewer in my informants’ discourses of ethnic identity. ‘Insiderness’ and ‘outsiderness’ of the researcher in relation to the community under investigation was perceived as a challenge to a coherence of the narratives and resulted in constant discursive negotiations of my interlocutors’ ‘stories of Polishness’. (Sage Publications)
Children born of war rapes continue to be a marginalized political, media and academic topic in Bosnian and other post-war societies. The goal of this article is to contribute to the research that deals with the life situations of children born of war rape, and to show the usefulness of an analysis of metaphors when a specific topic is emotionally difficult to talk about. The metaphor analysis of life stories of 19 adolescents - all Bosniak girls - born of war rapes in Bosnia and Herzegovina shows that metaphorical language provides abused girls with the only way to express their painful situations. The authors identify three main uses of metaphors as discursive strategies. These are the only possible articulations of their painful situations: the avoidance of the use of vocabulary from the primary domain, the repetition of the metaphor and the immediate use of the metaphor when it collapses into the primary domain. There were three major metaphorical frames that dominated the self-presentation of the girls: 'shooting target', 'cancer' and 'warrior'.
This article examines the structured panel discussion as a new form of broadcast news interaction. This involves live conversation among the anchorperson and news journalists on political news stories. The article draws upon the conversation analytic literature on news interviews, as well as detailed discourse analysis of journalistic discourse. By analysing data from Greek commercial prime-time news, it is argued that both the sequential organization and intra-turn design of journalists’ talk help construct their professional role as that of an authoritative expert (analyst and opinionated commentator) on political current affairs. The rhetoric of expertise legitimizes the journalists’ attribution of accountability, as well as their formulation of personal points of view. Given the absence of political actors from such extended exchanges, journalists are enabled to ‘impose’ their preferred readings of political actions and events on the audience. The structured panel discussion is a unique inter-journalistic conversational format, which exists alongside the more standard news interview, and is consequential for the representation of politics and political actors by the broadcast media.
In reply to Cresswell’s article, I will comment on his suggestion to broaden discursive psychology studies on refugees, race and ethnicity by (a) an ethnomethodological perspective including broader social discourses and (b) a phenomenological perspective including immediate experience. I will argue how such a dialogical approach is crucial for the understanding of human psychological functioning and can also be fruitfully applied to other areas of psychology such as early child development.
In our judgment, Cresswell’s theoretical discussion of the two main concerns with CDA methodology and the conceptual ways to deal with them is most interesting and promising. However, we found his empirical illustration of how to deal with these two concerns unconvincing, problematic, and apparently contradicting of his overall theoretical framework, but also instructional and thought-provoking. We see the main shortcoming of Cresswell’s application of his theoretical ideas to empirical research in his technism, a belief that there are methodological techniques detached from investigators’ research goals and subjectivity – a belief likely rooted in positivism. In our commentary, we want to justify our judgment and offer our own illustrations of his fruitful theoretical and methodological ideas.
This article examines the spoken interactions of a group of British construction workers to discover whether it is possible to identify a distinctive ‘builders’ discourse’. Given that builders work for a mostly all-male profession (Curjao, 2006), we ask whether the ways in which male builders converse with each other while ‘on the job’ can be held in any way responsible for the under-representation of women within this major occupational sector in the UK. This article reports on a case study of the conversations of three white, working-class, male builders, which took place while travelling in a truck between different building sites. This forms part of a larger ethnographic study of builders’ discourse in different work locations. The analysis shows that male builders are highly collaborative in constructing narratives of in-group and out-group identities (Duszak, 2002; Tajfel, 1978).
Various other male groups are demonized in these conversations: Polish immigrant builders, rude clients and rival builders. However, there is almost no reference to women. The article concludes that women are viewed as so unthreatening to male ascendancy in the building industry that they do not even feature within the ‘out-group’.