Volume 9 (1) 2017


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Stephen Pihlaja:

Charteris-Black, J. (2016). Fire Metaphors: Discourses of Awe and Authority. London: Bloomsbury. 248 pages; ISBN: 9781472532541 (hbk); Price: £95 (hbk).

Anne-Mette Hermans:

Roderick, I. (2016). Critical Discourse Studies and Technology: A Multimodal Approach to Analysing Technoculture. London: Bloomsbury Academic. Pages 232; ISBN: 9781472569486 (pbk). Price: £35.96 (pbk).



Abbie Strunc & Kelley M. King

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  • This analysis examined the Texas government standards after their revision in the spring of 2010. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS, are the learning standards Texas public schools are required to use as the curriculum. James Gee’s framework for critical discourse analysis was used to 1. uncover the ways in which the language in the document defines citizenship education in Texas, 2. determine if the language creates an imbalance of power among participants in education, and 3. determine if the learning standards agree with educational philosophers’ construct of citizenship and democratic education. The critical discourse analysis revealed a heavily biased set of learning standards. The implications of this bias is discussed and suggestions are offered for ways in which teachers and teacher education programs might address the government standards.

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Roberta Piazza

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  • Relying upon a Critical Discourse Analysis approach to the media, this paper explores the way in which, in a sample of documentaries broadcast on public and commercial television, the minority community of travellers and gypsies is represented. Starting from the premise that what is reported in factual films of this type is always a mediated and interpreted vision of reality, the paper highlights different aspects of the film narrative from the voice of the main narrator who orchestrates the various segments in the films, to the questions asked by the reporter. A brief mention of the images at the opening of the films completes the analysis and indicates that in some cases, rather than divulging information about these barely known groups, journalists produce a film that entertains and/or shocks the viewers.

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Andrew Panay

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  • The rhetorical fear appeal is a technique of political communication that seeks to elicit an emotional response in receivers with the intention of provoking them to political action desired by the rhetor. This paper examines a single example of fear appeal construction in the British press, the Mail Online’s ‘Prime Minister Corbyn and the 1000 days that Destroyed Britain’ (2015), through analysis of its use of two defining political myths, a conservative myth of declinism, and the utopia/anti-utopia binary myth. I firstly examine the origins and contemporary uses of fear appeals as techniques of political persuasion, before going on to examine how these are constructed. I then go on to analyse the Mail Online article’s use of these two powerful political myths, one, declinism, which I argue is utilised descriptively for the purposes of discourse construction, and the other, utopia/anti-utopia, which is utilised instructively. Finally, I propose a method of analysis combining recent approaches to the critical discourse analysis of myth with the cognitive-motivational-relational theory of emotion drawn from social psychology, in order to show how the Mail Online article is constructed as a discursive fear appeal.

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Chih-Hai Chiao and Ju Chuan Huang

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  • This study compared the ideologies of U.S. newspapers and Taiwanese newspapers by examining how they reported the Sunflower Student Movement (SSM) in Taiwan. Twenty-seven news reports were selected from New York Times, United Daily News (Taiwanese newspaper written in Chinese), and Focus Taiwan (Taiwanese newspaper written in English). The results showed that the three newspapers framed the event differently. The New York Times reported the SSM from a distanced viewpoint, whereas the United Daily News was explicitly partial to the government by dramatizing the damage and condemning the violence in the occupation. In contrast with the other two newspapers, Focus Taiwan seemed implicitly biased toward the government by highlighting the conflicts in the movement while trying to report the event relatively plainly. Through critical discourse analysis, this study highlights how newspapers reconstructed the event differently with underlying ideologies.

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Saira Fitzgerald

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  • This paper examines the discursive construction of the International Baccalaureate (IB) in a 1.5 million word corpus of Canadian newspapers to see how different discourses not only reflect public perceptions but also shape them. The study combines corpus-driven and corpus-based methods together with critical discourse analysis to identify patterns of language that work to build up ‘notions of typicality’ (Hardt-Mautner 1995) in discourse surrounding the IB. Collocational and concordance analysis reveal a positive discourse prosody (Stubbs 2001) with underlying ideas of quality and morality. These values and attitudes, indicative of wider public opinion (majority discourse), have real world implications in terms of advantaging one group while disadvantaging another.


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