Volume 5 (2) 2012

Special Issue: Ideology, Identity and Interaction



Monika Kopytowska

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Bob Hodge

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  • This article reflects on the condition of CDA, by analyzing key terms in the 2010 CADAAD conference: ideology, identity, interaction. It uses ideological-complex theory to emphasize contradiction as key to ideological effects in a highly complex world, source of both dynamism and vulnerability in theory, analysis and action. It argues for a single diverse and inclusive analytic project, including social, cognitive and linguistic lines, studying all media, including verbal, operating across all scales of space and time. Only an inclusive, contradictory CDA can have the impact it deserves.

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Veronika Koller

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  • This article presents an approach to analysing collective identity in discourse that distinguishes the linguistic and semiotic description of textual features from their socio-cognitive interpretation. Collective identities are theorised as conceptual structures comprising beliefs and knowledge, norms and values, attitudes and expectations as well as emotions, and as being reinforced and negotiated in discourse. A number of linguistic and semiotic features are suggested to ascertain what collective identities are constructed in texts and how. These include social actor representation, process types, evaluation, modality, metaphoric expressions and intertextuality. The findings from such an analysis are then linked to questions about genre and the participants and processes of discourse practice as well as to the social context and the ideologies by which it is dominated. The analytical procedure is exemplified with an excerpt from a retailer’s catalogue that is investigated for the discursive construction and socio-cognitive representation of gender and sexual identity.


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Ian Lamond

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  • In 1992 the cultural theorist Tony Bennett suggested that there may be scope for developing a body of academic research, separate from cultural studies, which was interested in questions concerning policy as it related to culture. The discipline of cultural policy studies that emerged became focused on questions of how and whyorganisations intervened in culture. But the why questions, that form a vital element at the foundation of contemporary cultural policy studies, lacks an empirical core. When asking why organisations intervene in culture it draws on arguments from intellectual history and the philosophical rationales for aesthetic education. In this paper I argue that by adopting a critical approach to the analysis of discourse, concerned with cultural policy, researchers would be able to establish a firm empirical basis for their field and develop more robust tools for the critique of policy as it emerges.

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Jiska Engelbert

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  • By drawing on Norman Fairclough’s seminal study New Labour, new language?, this article sets out to address and overcome a problematic issue in a ‘Faircloughean’ CDA: the premise that discourse’s rhetorical orientation is geared towards the concealment of problematic ‘extra-discursive’ interests. This article proposes that ideological agents’ discourse can also be explored without a priori assigning dubious or concealed commitments and investments to these producers. Problematic interests, in this view, are not only something that discourse producers have and conceal, but also what they might anticipate being accused of having. Considering ‘stake’ and interest as a discursive concern rather than a cause for discourse initially grounds this proposition in a kind of ‘emic’ discourse-analytical endeavour. Yet, this article does not set out to argue against an ‘etic’ CDA, but seeks to provide an alternative to approaching projects for social change as discursive operations and sites of hegemonic struggle.

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Katarzyna Molek-Kozakowska

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  • This paper problematizes the notion of the dominant ideology by analyzing multiple ideological positions related to female political representation in Poland in the 2009 Internet-mediated debate over the implementation of gender parity legislation. Instead of taking for granted the notion of a singular dominant ideology that legitimizes the interests of elites, the study verifies a claim that in late-modern societies public discourse is increasingly characterized by articulations of multiple, even conflicting ideologies. Some ideological positions become prominent by virtue of being discursively reproduced in rhetorically appealing ways. The study focuses on generic frames, terms of address, and rhetorical figures as salient textual features of the argumentation in the debate. On this basis, it is shown that such ideological infractions as reformatory feminism, idealism, collectivism, liberalism and progressivism are evidenced in the pro-parity discourse, while post-feminism, paternalism, matriarchalism, American individualism and conservatism are reproduced by anti-parity campaigners.

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Maarten Van Leeuwen

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  • In the analysis of political discourse, relatively sparse attention is paid to grammatical phenomena. As far as grammatical phenomena are analyzed, the focus is generally on linguistic means that can be used to hide agency, like nominalization and passivization, or on transitivity analysis. In this article I argue that it can be fruitful in the analysis of political discourse to focus on other grammatical phenomena as well. I argue that also other grammatical phenomena can sort out subtle rhetorical effects that are worth analyzing – complementary to more ‘traditionally’ analyzed linguistic categories. I will highlight the grammatical phenomenon of ‘complementation’ and illustrate its rhetorical potential.  A detailed stylistic analysis of a speech held by the Dutch controversial politician Geert Wilders serves as an example.

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Irina Diana Mǎdroane

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  • The enlargement of the European Union towards Central and Eastern Europe, the profound transformations throughout the EU member-states, old and new, and the recent financial and economic crisis have led to a resurgence of discrimination and new racism, affecting in particular migrants. The paper looks at the reactions occasioned in the Romanian public space by the Italian and French measures against Romani immigrants, among whom there is a large number of Romanian Roma. It employs Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) methodology (argumentation schemes, intertextuality) to explore a press campaign targeted at policy change for the purpose of preventing the ethnonym-based confusion between ‘Roma’ and ‘Romanian’. The media articles are significant on two levels: the role of the media in policy deliberations and the dynamic and strategic construal of collective identities.  The findings indicate, first, that the arguments put forward by the newspaper are not rationally persuasive and, second, that the discursive configuration of collective identities gives prominence to a nationalist discourse of Romanian (national) identity. At the same time, a disempowered view of the ‘Gypsy’ ethno-cultural identity is highlighted, oscillating between negative stereotypes and positive, romanticised ones.

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Silva Bratoz

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  • The present paper examines metaphors in the discourse of elections from a cross-linguistic perspective. The methodological framework brings together the conceptual theory of metaphor, as one of the most prominent models within cognitive linguistics, and Critical Discourse Analysis. In addition, a cross-linguistic approach to analysing metaphors in discourse is suggested following Kövecses’ (2005) criteria for cultural and linguistic universality and variation in metaphor. The analysis is based on a corpus of newspaper articles related to the elections held in 2008 in Slovenia and those held in the USA in the same year. The results suggest that while there is a certain degree of universality in terms of the predominant conceptual metaphors, there are also important variations between the two languages and cultures in question, such as the ubiquity of metaphorically motivated terminology and election jargon identified in (American) English texts.

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Dita Trckova

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  • The metaphoric conceptualization of a natural phenomenon employed in newspaper discourse on natural catastrophes is examined through a data-driven analysis. The focus is put on the representation of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and 2005 Hurricane Katrina in three newspapers published in Western English-speaking countries: The New York Times, The Guardian and The Globe and Mail. The major metaphoric themes discerned include the depiction of the natural phenomenon as an ANIMATE BEING, a MONSTER and a WARRIOR. By demonizing nature, such a representation reinforces Western nature-culture dualism, puts the blame for the catastrophe on the natural phenomenon and hides social and historical factors contributing to the disaster.

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Laura Filardo Llamas

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  • Contemporary post-Agreement Northern Ireland seems to be characterised by the spectre of commemoration, as seen in a nigh number of murals, graffiti and commemoration plaques. These memorials have a double function. On the one hand, they help construct a collective memory of the past, in as much as they ‘represent’ given historical events. On the other, they (de)legitimise those historical events, which are not only recalled but also reconstructed. In those (re-)constructions, given facts may be prioritized or hidden, and actors involved in them may be portrayed in very different ways. The relation between both functions can be understood by looking at the language – and images – that are used, in as much as they have a mediating function which entails accessing history from a particular point of view, which is, in turn, related to the legitimising function of those memorials. In this article, we intend to look at the linguistic strategies that are used in two sets of commemoration plaques found in Belfast.

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Argyro Kantara

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  • Previous research on media discourse in Greek television has indicated that informal conversation features in the conversational practices of hosts in TV (panel) discussion programmes and prime time news discourse either echo the attested conversationalization of the genre (Patrona 2006, 2009) or create an atmosphere of solidarity (Tzanne 2001). This article provides a data-driven analysis of adversarial challenges and responses to them in a different genre – the Greek political news interview. Within this political interview, the journalist tends to challenge the interviewee by: 1) predicting the interviewee’s answer and immediately after finishing his question explicitly asking him not to answer along specific lines, 2) explicitly stating that the interviewee either repeats himself when answering or has given an evasive answer, 3) using colloquial language, jokes and layman’s words as the outside source (footing), 4) presenting contrasting opinions as a ‘matter of personal disagreement.’  In turn, the interviewee responds by: 1) issuing direct attacks on the interviewer as a professional, 2) issuing indirect attacks on the interviewer as a person, 3) using questions to answer a question. It is argued that, within the context of this Greek political news interview, co-participants (re)shape the ever-changing confrontational institutional norm of the political news interview, co-constructing a new form of neutralism.

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