Volume 5 (1) 2011


M. Cristina Caimotto and Alessandra Molino

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  • As the economic crisis tightens itself upon businesses, many companies, especially those whose activities tend to be considered unfriendly towards the environment, have tried to ‘green market’ themselves, that is, they have worked on their brand image in order to reposition it as more interested in and caring about environmental issues.  The attempt at making environmentalism a payable business venture, however, may induce companies to claim to be more sustainable than what they really are.  This phenomenon, called ‘greenwashing’, is notably related to car manufacturing, energy (electricity and gas providers), tourism and petrol. This paper analyses the use of Anglicisms in Italian in texts taken from ERG’s website.  This Italian petrol company has recently carried out an important brand restructuring, redesigning its logo and modifying its petrol stations by colouring both in a strong, vibrant shade of green.  We argue that Anglicisms are an integral part of ERG’s green marketing discourse strategy and that their use can be considered a persuasive rhetorical device.  In addition, through an analysis of two Anglicisms in particular, i.e. ‘stakeholder’ and ‘performance’, which are investigated in terms of their semantic referent and their co-occurrence with other linguistic and semiotic resources, we also argue that these Anglicisms may lend themselves to being used manipulatively.  We finally suggest that such an analysis may be useful in the attempt to develop critical tools to help the recipients distinguish legitimate marketing persuasion from manipulation.

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    4. Furiassi, C. (2008). What dictionaries leave out: New non-adapted Anglicisms in Italian. In A. Martelli and V. Pulcini (eds.), Investigating English with Corpora: Studies in Honour of Maria Teresa Prat. Milano: Polimetrica. pp. 153-170.
    5. Fairclough, N. (2000).  New Labour, New Language? London: Routledge.
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    7. Freeman, R.E. (1984). Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach. Boston, MA: Pitman.
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    9. Hansen, A. and D. Machin (2008). Visually branding the environment: climate change as a marketing opportunity. Discourse Studies 10 (6): 777-794.
    10. Harré, R., Brockmeier, J. and P. Mulhausler (1998). Greenspeak: A Study of Environmental Discourse. London: Sage.
    11. Martin, E. (2007). ‘Frenglish’ for sale: multilingual discourses for addressing today’s global consumer. World Englishes 26 (2): 170-188.
    12. Martin, J.R. (1992). English Text: System and Structure. Philadelphia/Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
    13. Mitchell, R., Agle, B.R. and D.J. Wood (1997). Toward a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: Defining the principle of who and what really counts. The Academy of Management Review 22 (4): 853-886.
    14. Ramus, C. and I. Montiel (2005). When are corporate environmental policies a form of greenwashings?.  Business and Society 44 (4): 377-414.
    15. Sabatini, F. and V. Coletti (2003). Il Sabatini Coletti 2004: Dizionario Della Lingua Italiana. Milano: Rizzoli Larousse.
    16. van Leeuwen, T. and R. Wodak (1999). Legitimizing immigration control: a discourse-historical analysis.  Discourse Studies 1 (1): 83-118.
    17. van Dijk, T.A. (2001).  Multidisciplinary CDA: A plea for diversity. In R. Wodak and M. Meyer (eds.), Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Sage. pp. 95-120.
    18. van Dijk, T.A. (2006). Discourse and manipulation. Discourse & Society 17 (3): 359-383.


Dylan Kerrigan

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  • This paper is about the reality TV show ‘Black.White’ and the dialogue of some of its characters, viewers and producers.  The central premise is that there are structural inequalities inherent in US society and that race, while being a social construction, contributes to these inequalities through material affects and effects, which we can trace and disclose through an analysis of discourse, text and voice connected to the show.  Using a framework suggested by James Paul Gee (2005) and other academics, in particular Rudolf Gaudio and Steve Bialostok (2005), my analysis of various texts connected with the show (1) unpacks evidence of ‘language in use’, and how it disguises structural privilege and inequalities; (2) ‘discloses the related D/discourses’ used to reinforce and construct such meaning; and (3) ‘retrieves the political work’, or rather the social goods – power, status, valued knowledge – being thought about, argued over and distributed in society, ‘as instantiated within text-making’.

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Lyndon C.S. Way

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  • Drawing on newsroom studies and a Critical Discourse Analysis of news broadcasts this paper looks at the way Turkish Cypriot radio news in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is guilty of hampering democratic processes, particularly as regards the resolution of the conflict with the Republic of Cyprus.  On the one hand stations appear to support currently popular pro-solution politics but a closer look at the language used shows that each uses lexical and grammatical choices to also communicate threat and suspicion, in each case slightly differently to support their own associated ideologies and interests, which are consistently anti-solution.  For all intents and purposes these are news organisations only in terms of the ‘news semiotic’.  Employees called journalists work with news agency feeds, write, produce, edit and air news stories for newscasts daily like news in other European states, but what they are in fact doing is reflecting the interests of elites associated with each station, working to the detriment of democratic popular notions of unity throughout Cyprus. 

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Lisa Carlton

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  • From ancient Greece through Alexis de Tocqueville and on through today, democracy has meant a lot of different things to many different people.  The ambivalence surrounding the meaning of democracy and all of the ‘adjectives’ used to ‘precise’ the concept (i.e. constitutional, constitutive, direct, republican representative, deliberative, fugitive, pluralist, parliamentary, multiracial, and electronic) suggests that democracy is a rich discursive site for the study of these competing discourses.  Through contrapuntal analysis, a form of social text analysis informed by Mikhail Bakhtin’s work in dialogism, this study provides a method for discussing ideological conceptions of democracy in fluid tension within the discursive activity of a U.S. Congressional meeting.

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Michael Strange

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  • The article traces the complex series of relations that are constitutive of transnational campaigning through empirical research, focusing on political campaigning critical of the WTO’s General Agreement on Trade-in-Services.  Applying the methodology of post-structuralist discourse theory, as developed by Laclau and Mouffe, the article is able to move beyond the search for a ‘Global Civil Society’ or ‘Transnational Advocacy Network’, and instead focus on the articulatory process in which the relations central to transnational campaigning are produced.  This empowers an analysis that is able to both situate transnational campaigns within the context of other political phenomena – characterised by collective action – whilst highlighting the historically-contingent communicative devices central to the ‘transnational’ character of such campaigns.

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    2. Freeden, M. (1996).  Ideologies and Political Theory: A Conceptual Approach.  Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    3. Griggs, S. and D. Howarth (2000).  New environmental movements and direct action protest: The campaign against Manchester Airport’s second runway.  In D. Howarth, A. Norval  and Y. Stavrakakis (eds.), Discourse Theory and Political Analysis: Identities, Hegemonies and Social Change.  Manchester: Manchester University Press.  pp. 52-69.
    4. Hansen, A.D.  and E. Sørensen (2005).  Polity as politics: Studying the shaping and effects of discursive polities.  In D. Howarth and J. Torfing (eds.), Discourse Theory in European Politics: Identity, Policy and Governance. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.  pp. 93-116.
    5. Howarth D. (2005).  Applying discourse theory: The method of articulation. In D. Howarth and J. Torfing (eds.), Discourse Theory in European Politics: Identity, Policy and Governance.  Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.  pp. 316-350.
    6. Howarth D. and Y. Stavrakakis (2000).  Introducing discourse theory and political analysis.   In D. Howarth, A. Norval and Y. Stavrakakis (eds.), Discourse Theory and Political Analysis: Identities, Hegemonies and Social Change.  Manchester: Manchester University Press.  pp. 1-23.
    7. Johnston, J. and G. Laxer (2003).  Solidarity in the age of globalization: Lessons from the anti-MAI and Zapatista struggles.  Theory and Society 32: 39-91. 
    8. Keck, M. and K. Sikkink (1998).  Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics.  Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
    9. Laclau, E. (2004). Glimpsing the future.  In S. Critchley and O. Marchart (eds.), Laclau: A Critical Reader.  London: Routledge.  pp. 279-328.
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    13. Strange, M. (2011).  Why network across national borders? Journal of Civil Society 7 (1): 63-79.
    14. Taylor, R. (ed.) (2004).  Creating a Better World: Interpreting Global Civil Society.  Bloomfield: Kumarian Press. 
    15. Torfing, J. (2005).  Discourse theory: Achievements, arguments, and challenges.  In D. Howarth and J. Torfing (eds.), Discourse Theory in European Politics: Identity, Policy and Governance.  Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.  pp. 1-32.


Gao Shuang

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  • This study examines the welcome speech made at the opening of the first World Chinese Conference held in Beijing in July 2005 by extending facework analysis from interpersonal to institutional settings, in order to reveal the strategic use of facework for ideological purposes.  Departing from generic structure, speech act theory and facework, the paper shows that the generic function of welcome speech as a speech act of extending welcome is strategically explored by the speaker to achieve the primary speech act (Searle 1975) of justifying Chinese language teaching/learning by means of redressing potential face needs.  Specifically, the strategies of demarcation of self and others, self-face support, and other-face support (positive and negative) are used at various stages of the speech for the justification of teaching/ learning Chinese as a foreign language as well as the establishment or restoration of rapport.  It is argued that (1) an extension of facework and speech act theory is needed for analyzing speech in institutional context; (2) the form-function tension in facework research could only be satisfactorily accounted for by referring to social contexts.

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Phanindra K. Upadhyaya

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  • Despite several attempts towards inclusivity, the rhetoric of language policy and planning and ethnic and cultural rights in the Nepalese constitution, though pluralistic in its presentation, is replete with the vested interest and hidden agendas that in one way or another help in maintaining dominance by the traditionally dominant groups. Though the interrelationship between language and culture is broad and complex, and the debate over linguistic and cultural inequality and intercultural communication is bound to remain, this article attempts to critically analyze some of the constitutional documents that have emerged since 1990 in Nepal to find out how discourses over this period of time have denied linguistic and ethnic/cultural rights to various marginalized multilingual groups and how such discourses need to be understood to help make the future constitutional provisions more conducive to the socio-cultural and multi-lingual setting of the country.

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