Volume 7 (2) 2015

KEEPING THE UPPER-HAND: PRAGMATIC TECHNIQUES IN THE MEDIA INTERVIEW  Pages 180-199

Martin Tilney

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  • A critical approach to media discourse analysis sheds light on the way that individuals and institutions maintain certain ideologies in spite of the apparent neutrality of journalistic discourse.  In media interviews, the interviewer can use pragmatic techniques to elicit agreement and maintain the question-answer format.  This paper explores how metapragmatic acts (MPAs) and extended question sequences (EQSs) affect the interviewee’s responses in two television interviews concerning political issues in China.  The aim of this paper is not to comment on the ideologies implicit in the discourse, but rather to exemplify the ways in which the aforementioned pragmatic techniques play a role in the media interview. Throughout this analysis, attention is paid to the interviewer’s questions and how the given responses are affected.  I conclude that EQSs are more effective than MPAs, and that both are used by the interviewer to repair tacit political opinions.
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MULTIMODAL NARRATIVE AS AN INSTRUMENT FOR SOCIAL CHANGE: REINVENTING DEMOCRACY IN SPAIN – THE CASE OF 15M  Pages 200-221

Nicolina Montesano Montessori and Esperanza Morales López

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  • This article provides a description of the emergence of the Spanish ‘Occupy’ movement, Democracia real ya. The aim is to analyse the innovative discursive features of this movement and to connect this analysis to what we consider the innovative potential of the critical sciences. The movement is the result of a spontaneous uprising that appeared on the main squares of Madrid and Barcelona on 15 May 2011 and then spread to other Spanish cities. This date gave it its name: 15M. While the struggle for democracy in Spain is certainly not new, the 15M group shows a series of innovative features. These include the emphasis on peaceful struggle and the imaginary of a new democracy or worldview, transmitted through innovative placards and slogans designed by Spanish citizens. We consider these innovative not only due to their creativity, but also because of their use as a form of civil action. Our argument is that these placards both functioned as a sign of protest and, in combination with the demonstrations and the general dynamics of 15M, helped to reframe the population’s understanding of the crisis and rearticulate the identity of the citizens from victims to agents. In order to analyse the multimodal character of this struggle, we developed an interdisciplinary methodology, which combines socio-cognitive approaches that consider ideological proposals as socio-cognitive constructs (i.e. the notion of narrative or cognitive frame), and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) in the analysis of discourses related to processes of social imagination and transformation. The socio-constructivist perspective is used to consider these discourses in relation to their actors, particular contexts and actions. The use of CDA, which included a careful rhetoric analysis, helped to analyse the process of deconstruction, transformation and reconstruction that 15M uses to maintain its struggle. The narrative analysis and the discursive theoretical concept of articulation helped to methodologically show aspects of the process of change alluded to above. This change was both in terms of cognition and in the modification of identity that turned a large part of the Spanish population from victims to indignados and to the neologism indignadanos, which is a composition of indignado and ciudadano (citizen).

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CONTESTING HEGEMONIC GENDER AND SEXUALITY DISCOURSES ON THE WEB: LATVIAN AND POLISH DISCOURSES OF GENDER DISSIDENTS  Pages 222-242

Joanna Chojnicka

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  • Embedded in the framework of positive discourse analysis (PDA), this article investigates the discourse of gender dissidents using the example of Latvian and Polish LGBTQ and feminist blogs. It introduces the distinction between narrative and argumentative blogs, the former representing two types of discourse (normalizing and celebratory) and the latter making use of four different strategies of challenging mainstream frames (inversion, complexification, partial reframing and radical reframing), in their ironic and non-ironic variants. The discussion focuses on the latter. The article argues that the discourse of dissidents may be conceptualized in terms of responding to previously raised hegemonic/mainstream validity claims. Any text belonging to the gender dissident discourse is more or less explicitly positioned with regard to the claims of hetero-normativity and/or male dominance (patriarchy). A claim may be accepted, rejected, reversed, built upon, extended or reclaimed. On the basis of a qualitative analysis of 30 Polish and 19 Latvian LGBTQ/feminist blogs, the article revises some theoretical and methodological assumptions made in previous works, as well as suggests more general conclusions pertaining to the social media discourse of gender dissidents in Latvia and Poland.

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DISCOURSE MATTERS: LOCALNESS AS A SOURCE OF AUTHENTICITY IN CRAFT BUSINESSES IN PERIPHERAL MINORITY LANGUAGE SITES  Pages 243-262

Kati Dlaske

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  • ‘Localness’ has gained currency as a source of authenticity and distinction in the niche marketing of the globalised new economy. This has created opportunities for peripheral minority language sites to capitalise on their geographically and culturally peripheral location, and has lifted tourism and handicraft industries to key sites of socio-economic development in these regions. Although ‘localness’ may seem like a ready source of economic gain in cultural production in such sites, it does not come without consequences for the cultural entrepreneurs. This paper explores what is at stake for cultural entrepreneurs in the promotion of localness as a source of authenticity. The study focuses on two ceramic artists working in two peripheral minority language contexts, Sámiland in northern Lapland, and the Dingle Peninsula in the West of Ireland. Drawing on a nexus analytical approach combining multimodal discourse analysis and ethnographic approaches, the study investigates how the two artists draw and struggle to draw on the idea of localness in their work, examines the practices and semiotic resources they utilise, and explores the conditions and consequences of these discursive and material investments. The examination draws attention to how authenticities are always political, and, although discursively produced, have very material consequences for the actors involved in their production. On a broader plane, the study provides insight into how discourse ‘matters’ (in both senses of the expression) in contemporary conditions, in which identity, culture and creativity have become major economic resources.

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A SOCIOCOGNITIVE APPROACH TO AGENCY FRAMING IN DAVID CAMERON’S 2010 PRE-ELECTION DISCOURSE  Pages 263-282

Ines Ghachem

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  • Drawing on Critical Discourse Analysis as an approach to the analysis of discourses, this paper explores the concept of agency in a corpus of David Cameron’s 2010 pre-election speeches. The analysis attempts to unveil the social representations present in the discourse of the British Conservative Party leader by focusing on the discourse-cognition-society interface. The study uses Van Dijk’s sociocognitive approach and Systemic Functional Linguistics as a methodological framework. The focus is on the discourse structures of personal pronouns, transitivity and nominalisation as discourse structures framing agency. The study uses qualitative as well as quantitative tools and takes into account the context of the speeches. The analysis reveals that by means of interacting with the audience on common knowledge and attitudes, Cameron constructs a collective agency to win votes and define a Conservative ideology.

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