News & Media Critical Discourse Analysis: A Quick Introduction (Teun A. van Dijk) Prepared by Mr. Tommie Chen 25th June 2009 What is CDA? A discourse analytical research that: Studies how social power abuse, dominance and inequality are enacted, reproduced and resisted by text and talk in social and political contexts. Deals with the relationship between discourse and power (with the aim of understanding, exposing and resisting social inequality). What is CDA? A discourse analytical research that: Focuses on how discourse structures enact, confirm, legitimise, reproduce or challenge relations of power and dominance in society. Rejects the possibility of a value-free science – as these inequalities are inherently a part social structures and are influenced by social interactions. A Theoretical Framework: 1. Macro vs. Micro Levels of Analysis Macro-analysis: Power, Dominance, Inequality Micro-analysis: Language Use, Discourse, Verbal Interaction & Communication • These 2 levels form 1 unified whole in everyday interaction and experience. A Theoretical Framework: 2. Power as Control Source of Power: Privileged Access to Scarce Social Resources e.g. Fame? Types of Power: Coercive Force, Money, Knowledge, Information, Authority. Types of Responses: Resist, Accept, Condone, Comply, Legitimise (Indoctrination?) Quick Discussion: • What is the most powerful form of persuasion? • How do more powerful groups control public discourse? • How does such discourse control the minds and actions of less powerful groups? • What are the consequences of such control e.g. social inequality? Control of Public Discourse Public Discourse as a vital symbolic resource. Individual Level: • Active Control (Everyday Interaction) vs. Passive Control (Media Usage) Macro Level: • Professors (Scholarly Discourse), Journalists (Media Discourse), Teachers (Educational Discourse), Lawyers (Legal Discourse), Politicians (Policy & Public Discourse) Control of Public Discourse 3 Forms of Access & Control • Context – Control over the Communicative Situation (Setting, Discourse Genre and Content, Participants, Mental Representations) • Structure of Text and Talk – Topical Control (Editors – News Coverage/Topics, Professors), Lexical Items/Jargon/Volume. Control of Public Discourse Mind Control: Mediated through Discourse (especially News and Media). Recipients tend to accept beliefs, knowledge and opinions especially when it comes through discourse from perceived authoritative, trustworthy or credible sources (Scholars, Experts, Professionals, Reliable Media) Control of Public Discourse Mind Control is especially effective when: Target audiences are obliged to be passive recipients There is a lack of alternative discourse and beliefs There is a lack of resources, knowledge and expertise to challenge the discourse that we are exposed to. The lack of an explicit assertion results in a negligible chance that they will be challenged. Quick Discussion • What are the Areas/Topics that you want to examine in the News & Media Module using the CDA framework? E.g. biased representations of “us” and “them”, supremacist derogation, power and domination in politics etc. • Please provide a clear indication on the IVLE Discussion Forum so that the subsequent lessons can be tailored specifically to your needs. • Everyone MUST provide a Response as this will serve as an indicator of your participation in this online lecture.
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