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Analysing Newspapers. an approach from Critical Discourse Analysis John E Richardson Department of Language Studies, Canterbury Christ Church 14 December 2007. Discourse analysis: some assumptions. Discourse analysis = the analysis of texts in context . Discourse is language in use

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analysing newspapers

Analysing Newspapers

an approach from Critical Discourse Analysis

John E Richardson

Department of Language Studies, Canterbury Christ Church 14 December 2007

discourse analysis some assumptions
Discourse analysis: some assumptions
  • Discourse analysis = the analysis of texts in context.
  • Discourse is language in use
  • Discourse is necessarily situated in a context.
  • No practice detached from a social context, and no social context is ever wholly neutral.
  • Constituted/Constitutive: “language simultaneously reflects reality (‘the way things are’) and constructs (construes) it to be a certain way” (Gee, 1999: 82).
cda an approach to discourse
CDA: an approach to discourse
  • Language must play some part in producing and reproducing social inequalities.
  • In response, “CDA sees itself as politically involved research” (Titscher et al, 2000: 147).
  • CDA investigates, and aims at illustrating, “relationships between the text and its social conditions, ideologies and power-relations” (Wodak, 1996: 20)
fairclough three site analysis
Fairclough: three-site analysis
  • For Fairclough, CDA means:
  • ‘…the analysis of relationships between concrete language use and the wider social cultural structures. […] He attributes three dimensions to every discursive event. It is simultaneously text, discursivepractice - which also includes the production and interpretation of texts - and socialpractice. The analysis is conducted according to these three dimensions.’ (Titscher et al, 2000: 149-50)
1 text as discourse

Analysis should be playful

View texts as the result of a series of many choices

We should ask: how could this have been different?

1. Text-as-discourse

2 Discursive practicesText-Linguistics is not enough:“If we see discourse as contextualised language, and take this dimension of contextualisation seriously, we shall be forced to develop a linguistics that ceases to be linguistic from a certain point onwards” (Blommaert, 2005: 235)

3. Social practices- markets, ownership, advertising, government, the law, etc. - cause, consequences, social benefits/harm
  • linguistic analysis will only ever reveal so much.
  • We need also to look at: the discourse processes enacted during production and consumption;
  • the ways that these are themselves affected by and reflect earlier texts and earlier interactions;
  • and the ways that newspaper discourse – as a system of systems – relates to power, ideology and social inequalities
  • Blommaert, J (2005) Discourse: a critical introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge Uni Press
  • Fairclough, N (1995) Media Discourse. London: Edward Arnold
  • Gee, J. P. (1999) An introduction to discourse analysis: theory and method. London: Routledge
  • Richardson, J. E (2007) Analysing Newspapers: an approach from critical discourse analysis. Houndmills: Palgrave
  • Titscher, S., Meyer, M., Wodak, R. & Vetter, E. (2000) Methods of Text and Discourse Analysis. London: Sage
  • Wodak, R. (1996) Disorders of Discourse. London: Longman.