Volume 11 (2) 2019


Kate Power, Lucy Rak & Marianne Kim

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  • Despite their growing presence within the business sector, women have long been under- and misrepresented in business media, with negative consequences for their entrepreneurial and other work aspirations. Research into the frequency with which women are featured and cited in business media, as well as the dominant discourses in terms of which they are represented, has repeatedly found patriarchal biases that undermine women’s position in the world of business. However, most of these studies are now outdated and many focus only on female entrepreneurs, are non-representative small-scale case studies, or do not subject business media coverage of women to fine-grained linguistic analysis. In this paper, therefore, we document how women (in general) are represented in three top-selling American business magazines (Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune) between 2015 and 2017. First, we compare the frequency with which men and women are mentioned across all articles published in this time period (n=2,317), to determine any statistically significant variation Second, using a representative subset of sample articles (n=63), we identify the number of times women are mentioned per article, to gauge the level of prominence accorded to them. Third, we use Hallidayan (Halliday and Matthiessen 2004) transitivity analysis and van Leeuwen’s (1996) representation of social actors framework to document the level and types of behavior ascribed to women, as well as the category labels used to depict them. Lastly, drawing on current business studies scholarship and related grey literature, we situate media portrayals of women within twenty-first century North American business culture. This paper contributes to a growing literature on media representations of powerful women and provides gender equality advocates – including those within both business and business media – with valuable information about how media coverage of women can better reflect and construct women’s position in the business world.


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Concetta Papapicco & Guiseppe Mininni

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  • The theoretical and methodological framework of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is a powerful resource to face the ideological intricacies of the public debate on a specific aspect of migrant people: ‘brain exit’. The relevance of brain drain (Docquier and Rapoport 2012) has been explored at several levels; however, the aim of our study is to focus on its significance for Discursive Psychology as well. The way in which it is discussed brings into play the interpretative repertories of basic objects in the organization of the culture of a community, such as ‘work’, ‘family’, ‘education’, ‘Self’, ‘nation’. Our study aims to detect the discursive pathways that oppose the ‘professional realization’ to the ‘emotional enhancement’ as referring to the Self, to the families and to the politicians as well as to the whole community. Starting from various sources of ‘dia-textual’ (Manuti and Mininni and 2017) data, our research aims to evaluate which are the difficulties of this displacement, doubts and victories of brain drain. To satisfy this purpose, a Sentiment Analysis and Diatextual Analysis was carried out, assuming that the courageous choice to leave depends on a high motivation of the worker who sets aside his affections for work satisfaction: not by chance, in English in the binomial ‘brain drain’ and ‘drain heart’, the heart is almost moved to the background. Diatextual Approach as a format of Critical Discourse Analysis answers the need to ‘enlarge the paradigm’, starting from the research question about how the speech represented the social goals and how large their area of influence can be.


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Yaroslava Sazonova

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  • The article takes a linguistic-pragmatic approach using Proximization Theory (PT) to analyze threat deconstruction in a Ukrainian humorous blog. The aim is to show how threat deconstruction in a Ukrainian blogger’s texts runs parallel to the reconstruction of national identity. The blog was written at the time of the war in the East of Ukraine (2014-16) that caused consequential shifts in the Ukrainians’ self-perception and their perception of the Russian Federation. The notion of an ontological lacuna is introduced to account for these changes and transformations in national identity. Simultaneous processes in the deconstruction of threat and the construction of a new sense of threat under war-time conditions are analyzed as proximization operations. The purpose is to reveal how threat consolidates and motivates people for resistance. In both cases, the basic pragmatic strategy is the delegitimization of the threatening actor and the legitimization of the threatened one. The focus is on linguistic devices that change the perlocutionary effect, such as humor, semantic and dialect shifts, and obscene lexis. A set of characteristic axiological features emerged that show the shift in the construction of the Ukraine-Russia relationship from friend to foe. 

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Anders Horsbøl

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  • Notions of co-creation and co-production have recently gained importance within several governance areas, suggesting new relations between public authorities and citizens. However, whereas the overall principles of co-creation are relatively well established, the ways in which these principles are realized (or not) in specific fields of practices remain to be studied. This does not at least apply to initiatives towards green transition and climate change mitigation, to which this article is devoted. The current article presents a case study of a 3-year long green transition project, based on a co-operation between four municipalities or municipality associated actors in Denmark and Sweden. The case provides an opportunity to study how ideas and principles of co-creation as a general policy paradigm are domesticated when they meet the local experiences of a municipality initiated green transition project. To put the study of domestication at work in a discourse approach, the notions of recontextualization and operationalization are employed (Fairclough 2005). Empirically, the article analyzes representations of the co-creation process made by municipality employees, who met in a series of workshops in order to exchange experiences and develop a common framework.

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Dennis Puorideme

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  • Previous studies of conditional cash transfer (CCT) programmes employed an ethnographic approach to investigate the gendered impacts of these programmes on women in different contexts and found that these programmes reinforce gender inequality and burden women. This paper investigates a CCT programme by focusing on the intersecting gendered practices of the LEAP CCT programme authorities in Ghana alongside the gendered practices of the programme community focal persons (males and females) in the specific context of the Asante matrilineal society. The paper uses an ethnographic-based critical discourse study methodology inspired by Foucault’s notions of discourse and power and Fairclough’s approach to critical discourse studies. Thus, it draws on modality and interactional control features to investigate the accounts of social actors in the domains of the programme and the specific local community. The analysis demonstrates that the LEAP CCT programme reproduces unequal gender power relations in Asante matrilineal society and that women community focal persons in the Asante matrilineal society reproduce and assert unequal gender relations in the CCT programme within Asante society. In addition, it reveals that the reproduction and assertion of unequal gender relations in the translation of the CCT programme excludes the voices and articulations of men in specific contexts.

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Chien Ju Ting

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  • Taiwan has 16 officially recognised Indigenous languages and all of them are endangered. Legislative efforts have been made to preserve these languages, but the results have not been fruitful. While it is often taken for granted that Indigenous language revitalisation policies are meant to promote Indigenous languages, this paper argues that other political agendas embedded in the policies may have obscured the good intentions for language revitalisation and thus resulted in the inefficacy of the policies. This paper employs a Critical Discourse Studies (CDS) framework to investigate how two successive Taiwanese governments with contrasting political positions (the DPP and the KMT) legitimise their intention for Indigenous language revitalisation. Two consecutive ‘6-Year Plans for Indigenous Language Revitalisation’, each prepared under the different government in power, were examined and compared. I draw on four legitimisation strategies applied by other CDS scholars to investigate the government’s justifications for Indigenous language revitalisation. In spite of the similar language ideology with regard to language revitalisation, the Plans reflected the particular political positionings of each government. In other words, the term ‘language revitalisation’ is recontextualised by different political powers to address opaque political agendas.


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Celeste Moreno Palmero

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  • Nuclear ideology, or nuclearism, was for many years an intrinsic part of American identity. Atomic bombs incited fear, but also awe and admiration. People lived their lives conditioned by these dualities, feeling anxiety about the chances of an all-out nuclear war, but also being proud of the greatest American achievement. This paper presents a multidisciplinary approach to the study of nuclear discourse and its impact on the audience and their behavior. Using theories of CDA along with Cognitive Linguistics and Evolutionary Psychology, the goal of this paper is to analyze news media in order to understand the role it may have played in the framing and categorization of nuclear affairs within the internal mental structure of the American public. I focused this study on top newspapers and a particular linguistic strategy: metaphor-related words that triggered an image schema. The paper looks at production but also at reception to demarcate the possible outcomes of ideological discourse on the public’s behavior. In order to look at reception with a complete understanding of the mechanisms that may have elicited different responses, this work employs theories of evolutionary psychology to prove whether certain discursive strategies could have had the power to activate attitudes towards nuclear affairs.


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Matthew Evans & Brian Walker

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  • This paper investigates David Cameron’s use of the word austerity in his keynote speech (as leader of the opposition) at the 2009 Conservative Party spring conference. It builds on previous critical stylistic studies that demonstrate how word forms can take on particular sociopolitical meanings in media and political discourses that are subtly different from the everyday usage of the same word. Such wordforms, which we refer to as sociopolitical keywords, can function as a kind of shorthand for a whole ideological stance (see, for example, Evans and Jeffries 2015; Evans and Schuller 2015; Jeffries and Walker 2018).

    Austerity has strong connections with 1940s and ’50s Britain, when the consumption of food and clothing was regulated and reduced via rationing. During the 1940s, austerity was frequently used in parliamentary discourse in the House of Commons (Jeffries and Walker 2019). It then re-emerged during the build-up to the 2010 general election when David Cameron and George Osborne (respectively the Conservative leader and shadow Chancellor at that time) repeatedly used the word, possibly in an attempt to evoke past days of supposed national unity. Their veneration of austerity asserted the ideology that public spending cuts, rather than additional public spending, were the solution for the 2008 financial crisis. Those who disagreed with this ideology found themselves in the position of having to argue against a nebulous idea, with little clarity as to what exactly austerity meant.

    The paper will outline the methodology for the systematic analysis of a complete text, report on linguistic patterns in the data, and finish by drawing conclusions about the status of austerity as a socio-political keyword.


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Carmen Serena Santonocito

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  • The present study aims to investigate current trends in the representation of LGBT* people within the speeches of British and Italian PMs. Considered the formulaic nature of PMs’ institutional interventions and their social resonance, the objective is to investigate how LGBT* people are discursively presented in the institutional discourse of two traditionally androcentric and patriarchal contexts, with an eye on similarities and differences in the two discursive productions. Starting from a multi-disciplinary approach which strengthens up in the framework of Corpus-Assisted Critical Discourse Studies, the linguistic choices and the discursive strategies used to convey a given representation of LGBT* people as social actors are uncovered. Subsequently, the study develops into a contrastive analysis focused on revealing emerging commonalities and differences between the two cases with the end of delivering a productive output where further discussion could be raised.


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Catharina Nyström Höög

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  • This study presents core values at public authorities in Sweden and discusses them in relation to the legal foundation for the public administration. A corpus-based approach is applied in order to overview the texts where the core values are presented, and to promote an understanding of how ambiguous core value words might be understood, paying particular attention to the high frequent core value openness. Results show that public authorities tend to emphasize the principle of efficiency and service in their assignment, and often choose core values related to that principle, such as helpful, reliable or goal oriented. The principle free formation of speech, on the other hand, a privilege confirmed in the Swedish constitution, is not present among the chosen core value words. The word openness primarily refers to a personal quality or a workplace atmosphere and is both promoted and restricted in the texts. Only in a few instances do openness refer to flow of information, and in those instances, it is restricted. The constitutional right for a public servant to voice his or her opinion freely is thus not emphasized in this type of policy texts.


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Theo Van Leeuwen

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Way, L.C.S. (2018). Popular Music and Multimodal Critical Discourse Studies – Ideology, Control and Resistance in Turkey Since 2002. London: Bloomsbury. 216 pages; ISBN: 9781350016446; £85.50 (hbk), £26.09 (ppb); £ 25.04 (e-book).

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    3. Leone, M. (2012). My schoolmate: Protest music in present-day Iran. Critical Discourse Studies 9(4): 347-362
    4. Machin, D. and Richardson, J.E. (2012). Discourses of unity and purpose in the sounds of fascist music: A multimodal approach. Critical Discourse Studies 9(4): 329-345.
    5. Way, L. and McKerrell, S. (eds.) (2017). Music as Multimodal Discourse: Media, Power and Protest. London: Bloomsbury.