Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base

Methodology

  • Critical Discourse Analysis | Definition, Guide & Examples

Critical Discourse Analysis | Definition, Guide & Examples

Published on August 23, 2019 by Amy Luo . Revised on June 22, 2023.

Critical discourse analysis (or discourse analysis) is a research method for studying written or spoken language in relation to its social context. It aims to understand how language is used in real life situations.

When you conduct discourse analysis, you might focus on:

  • The purposes and effects of different types of language
  • Cultural rules and conventions in communication
  • How values, beliefs and assumptions are communicated
  • How language use relates to its social, political and historical context

Discourse analysis is a common qualitative research method in many humanities and social science disciplines, including linguistics, sociology, anthropology, psychology and cultural studies.  

Table of contents

What is discourse analysis used for, how is discourse analysis different from other methods, how to conduct discourse analysis, other interesting articles.

Conducting discourse analysis means examining how language functions and how meaning is created in different social contexts. It can be applied to any instance of written or oral language, as well as non-verbal aspects of communication such as tone and gestures.

Materials that are suitable for discourse analysis include:

  • Books, newspapers and periodicals
  • Marketing material, such as brochures and advertisements
  • Business and government documents
  • Websites, forums, social media posts and comments
  • Interviews and conversations

By analyzing these types of discourse, researchers aim to gain an understanding of social groups and how they communicate.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Unlike linguistic approaches that focus only on the rules of language use, discourse analysis emphasizes the contextual meaning of language.

It focuses on the social aspects of communication and the ways people use language to achieve specific effects (e.g. to build trust, to create doubt, to evoke emotions, or to manage conflict).

Instead of focusing on smaller units of language, such as sounds, words or phrases, discourse analysis is used to study larger chunks of language, such as entire conversations, texts, or collections of texts. The selected sources can be analyzed on multiple levels.

Discourse analysis is a qualitative and interpretive method of analyzing texts (in contrast to more systematic methods like content analysis ). You make interpretations based on both the details of the material itself and on contextual knowledge.

There are many different approaches and techniques you can use to conduct discourse analysis, but the steps below outline the basic structure you need to follow. Following these steps can help you avoid pitfalls of confirmation bias that can cloud your analysis.

Step 1: Define the research question and select the content of analysis

To do discourse analysis, you begin with a clearly defined research question . Once you have developed your question, select a range of material that is appropriate to answer it.

Discourse analysis is a method that can be applied both to large volumes of material and to smaller samples, depending on the aims and timescale of your research.

Step 2: Gather information and theory on the context

Next, you must establish the social and historical context in which the material was produced and intended to be received. Gather factual details of when and where the content was created, who the author is, who published it, and whom it was disseminated to.

As well as understanding the real-life context of the discourse, you can also conduct a literature review on the topic and construct a theoretical framework to guide your analysis.

Step 3: Analyze the content for themes and patterns

This step involves closely examining various elements of the material – such as words, sentences, paragraphs, and overall structure – and relating them to attributes, themes, and patterns relevant to your research question.

Step 4: Review your results and draw conclusions

Once you have assigned particular attributes to elements of the material, reflect on your results to examine the function and meaning of the language used. Here, you will consider your analysis in relation to the broader context that you established earlier to draw conclusions that answer your research question.

If you want to know more about statistics , methodology , or research bias , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • Normal distribution
  • Measures of central tendency
  • Chi square tests
  • Confidence interval
  • Quartiles & Quantiles
  • Cluster sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Thematic analysis
  • Cohort study
  • Peer review
  • Ethnography

Research bias

  • Implicit bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Conformity bias
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Availability heuristic
  • Attrition bias
  • Social desirability bias

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Luo, A. (2023, June 22). Critical Discourse Analysis | Definition, Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved February 23, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/methodology/discourse-analysis/

Is this article helpful?

Amy Luo

Other students also liked

What is qualitative research | methods & examples, what is a case study | definition, examples & methods, how to do thematic analysis | step-by-step guide & examples, what is your plagiarism score.

Grad Coach

What (Exactly) Is Discourse Analysis? A Plain-Language Explanation & Definition (With Examples)

By: Jenna Crosley (PhD). Expert Reviewed By: Dr Eunice Rautenbach | June 2021

Discourse analysis is one of the most popular qualitative analysis techniques we encounter at Grad Coach. If you’ve landed on this post, you’re probably interested in discourse analysis, but you’re not sure whether it’s the right fit for your project, or you don’t know where to start. If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Overview: Discourse Analysis Basics

In this post, we’ll explain in plain, straightforward language :

  • What discourse analysis is
  • When to use discourse analysis
  • The main approaches to discourse analysis
  • How to conduct discourse analysis

What is discourse analysis?

Let’s start with the word “discourse”.

In its simplest form, discourse is verbal or written communication between people that goes beyond a single sentence . Importantly, discourse is more than just language. The term “language” can include all forms of linguistic and symbolic units (even things such as road signs), and language studies can focus on the individual meanings of words. Discourse goes beyond this and looks at the overall meanings conveyed by language in context .  “Context” here refers to the social, cultural, political, and historical background of the discourse, and it is important to take this into account to understand underlying meanings expressed through language.

A popular way of viewing discourse is as language used in specific social contexts, and as such language serves as a means of prompting some form of social change or meeting some form of goal.

Discourse analysis goals

Now that we’ve defined discourse, let’s look at discourse analysis .

Discourse analysis uses the language presented in a corpus or body of data to draw meaning . This body of data could include a set of interviews or focus group discussion transcripts. While some forms of discourse analysis center in on the specifics of language (such as sounds or grammar), other forms focus on how this language is used to achieve its aims. We’ll dig deeper into these two above-mentioned approaches later.

As Wodak and Krzyżanowski (2008) put it: “discourse analysis provides a general framework to problem-oriented social research”. Basically, discourse analysis is used to conduct research on the use of language in context in a wide variety of social problems (i.e., issues in society that affect individuals negatively).

For example, discourse analysis could be used to assess how language is used to express differing viewpoints on financial inequality and would look at how the topic should or shouldn’t be addressed or resolved, and whether this so-called inequality is perceived as such by participants.

What makes discourse analysis unique is that it posits that social reality is socially constructed , or that our experience of the world is understood from a subjective standpoint. Discourse analysis goes beyond the literal meaning of words and languages

For example, people in countries that make use of a lot of censorship will likely have their knowledge, and thus views, limited by this, and will thus have a different subjective reality to those within countries with more lax laws on censorship.

social construction

When should you use discourse analysis?

There are many ways to analyze qualitative data (such as content analysis , narrative analysis , and thematic analysis ), so why should you choose discourse analysis? Well, as with all analysis methods, the nature of your research aims, objectives and research questions (i.e. the purpose of your research) will heavily influence the right choice of analysis method.

The purpose of discourse analysis is to investigate the functions of language (i.e., what language is used for) and how meaning is constructed in different contexts, which, to recap, include the social, cultural, political, and historical backgrounds of the discourse.

For example, if you were to study a politician’s speeches, you would need to situate these speeches in their context, which would involve looking at the politician’s background and views, the reasons for presenting the speech, the history or context of the audience, and the country’s social and political history (just to name a few – there are always multiple contextual factors).

The purpose of discourse analysis

Discourse analysis can also tell you a lot about power and power imbalances , including how this is developed and maintained, how this plays out in real life (for example, inequalities because of this power), and how language can be used to maintain it. For example, you could look at the way that someone with more power (for example, a CEO) speaks to someone with less power (for example, a lower-level employee).

Therefore, you may consider discourse analysis if you are researching:

  • Some form of power or inequality (for example, how affluent individuals interact with those who are less wealthy
  • How people communicate in a specific context (such as in a social situation with colleagues versus a board meeting)
  • Ideology and how ideas (such as values and beliefs) are shared using language (like in political speeches)
  • How communication is used to achieve social goals (such as maintaining a friendship or navigating conflict)

As you can see, discourse analysis can be a powerful tool for assessing social issues , as well as power and power imbalances . So, if your research aims and objectives are oriented around these types of issues, discourse analysis could be a good fit for you.

discourse analysis is good for analysing power

Discourse Analysis: The main approaches

There are two main approaches to discourse analysis. These are the language-in-use (also referred to as socially situated text and talk ) approaches and the socio-political approaches (most commonly Critical Discourse Analysis ). Let’s take a look at each of these.

Approach #1: Language-in-use

Language-in-use approaches focus on the finer details of language used within discourse, such as sentence structures (grammar) and phonology (sounds). This approach is very descriptive and is seldom seen outside of studies focusing on literature and/or linguistics.

Because of its formalist roots, language-in-use pays attention to different rules of communication, such as grammaticality (i.e., when something “sounds okay” to a native speaker of a language). Analyzing discourse through a language-in-use framework involves identifying key technicalities of language used in discourse and investigating how the features are used within a particular social context.

For example, English makes use of affixes (for example, “un” in “unbelievable”) and suffixes (“able” in “unbelievable”) but doesn’t typically make use of infixes (units that can be placed within other words to alter their meaning). However, an English speaker may say something along the lines of, “that’s un-flipping-believable”. From a language-in-use perspective, the infix “flipping” could be investigated by assessing how rare the phenomenon is in English, and then answering questions such as, “What role does the infix play?” or “What is the goal of using such an infix?”

Need a helping hand?

discourse analysis of case study

Approach #2: Socio-political

Socio-political approaches to discourse analysis look beyond the technicalities of language and instead focus on the influence that language has in social context , and vice versa. One of the main socio-political approaches is Critical Discourse Analysis , which focuses on power structures (for example, the power dynamic between a teacher and a student) and how discourse is influenced by society and culture. Critical Discourse Analysis is born out of Michel Foucault’s early work on power, which focuses on power structures through the analysis of normalized power .

Normalized power is ingrained and relatively allusive. It’s what makes us exist within society (and within the underlying norms of society, as accepted in a specific social context) and do the things that we need to do. Contrasted to this, a more obvious form of power is repressive power , which is power that is actively asserted.

Sounds a bit fluffy? Let’s look at an example.

Consider a situation where a teacher threatens a student with detention if they don’t stop speaking in class. This would be an example of repressive power (i.e. it was actively asserted).

Normalized power, on the other hand, is what makes us not want to talk in class . It’s the subtle clues we’re given from our environment that tell us how to behave, and this form of power is so normal to us that we don’t even realize that our beliefs, desires, and decisions are being shaped by it.

In the view of Critical Discourse Analysis, language is power and, if we want to understand power dynamics and structures in society, we must look to language for answers. In other words, analyzing the use of language can help us understand the social context, especially the power dynamics.

words have power

While the above-mentioned approaches are the two most popular approaches to discourse analysis, other forms of analysis exist. For example, ethnography-based discourse analysis and multimodal analysis. Ethnography-based discourse analysis aims to gain an insider understanding of culture , customs, and habits through participant observation (i.e. directly observing participants, rather than focusing on pre-existing texts).

On the other hand, multimodal analysis focuses on a variety of texts that are both verbal and nonverbal (such as a combination of political speeches and written press releases). So, if you’re considering using discourse analysis, familiarize yourself with the various approaches available so that you can make a well-informed decision.

How to “do” discourse analysis

As every study is different, it’s challenging to outline exactly what steps need to be taken to complete your research. However, the following steps can be used as a guideline if you choose to adopt discourse analysis for your research.

Step 1: Decide on your discourse analysis approach

The first step of the process is to decide on which approach you will take in terms. For example, the language in use approach or a socio-political approach such as critical discourse analysis. To do this, you need to consider your research aims, objectives and research questions . Of course, this means that you need to have these components clearly defined. If you’re still a bit uncertain about these, check out our video post covering topic development here.

While discourse analysis can be exploratory (as in, used to find out about a topic that hasn’t really been touched on yet), it is still vital to have a set of clearly defined research questions to guide your analysis. Without these, you may find that you lack direction when you get to your analysis. Since discourse analysis places such a focus on context, it is also vital that your research questions are linked to studying language within context.

Based on your research aims, objectives and research questions, you need to assess which discourse analysis would best suit your needs. Importantly, you  need to adopt an approach that aligns with your study’s purpose . So, think carefully about what you are investigating and what you want to achieve, and then consider the various options available within discourse analysis.

It’s vital to determine your discourse analysis approach from the get-go , so that you don’t waste time randomly analyzing your data without any specific plan.

Action plan

Step 2: Design your collection method and gather your data

Once you’ve got determined your overarching approach, you can start looking at how to collect your data. Data in discourse analysis is drawn from different forms of “talk” and “text” , which means that it can consist of interviews , ethnographies, discussions, case studies, blog posts.  

The type of data you collect will largely depend on your research questions (and broader research aims and objectives). So, when you’re gathering your data, make sure that you keep in mind the “what”, “who” and “why” of your study, so that you don’t end up with a corpus full of irrelevant data. Discourse analysis can be very time-consuming, so you want to ensure that you’re not wasting time on information that doesn’t directly pertain to your research questions.

When considering potential collection methods, you should also consider the practicalities . What type of data can you access in reality? How many participants do you have access to and how much time do you have available to collect data and make sense of it? These are important factors, as you’ll run into problems if your chosen methods are impractical in light of your constraints.

Once you’ve determined your data collection method, you can get to work with the collection.

Collect your data

Step 3: Investigate the context

A key part of discourse analysis is context and understanding meaning in context. For this reason, it is vital that you thoroughly and systematically investigate the context of your discourse. Make sure that you can answer (at least the majority) of the following questions:

  • What is the discourse?
  • Why does the discourse exist? What is the purpose and what are the aims of the discourse?
  • When did the discourse take place?
  • Where did it happen?
  • Who participated in the discourse? Who created it and who consumed it?
  • What does the discourse say about society in general?
  • How is meaning being conveyed in the context of the discourse?

Make sure that you include all aspects of the discourse context in your analysis to eliminate any confounding factors. For example, are there any social, political, or historical reasons as to why the discourse would exist as it does? What other factors could contribute to the existence of the discourse? Discourse can be influenced by many factors, so it is vital that you take as many of them into account as possible.

Once you’ve investigated the context of your data, you’ll have a much better idea of what you’re working with, and you’ll be far more familiar with your content. It’s then time to begin your analysis.

Time to analyse

Step 4: Analyze your data

When performing a discourse analysis, you’ll need to look for themes and patterns .  To do this, you’ll start by looking at codes , which are specific topics within your data. You can find more information about the qualitative data coding process here.

Next, you’ll take these codes and identify themes. Themes are patterns of language (such as specific words or sentences) that pop up repeatedly in your data, and that can tell you something about the discourse. For example, if you’re wanting to know about women’s perspectives of living in a certain area, potential themes may be “safety” or “convenience”.

In discourse analysis, it is important to reach what is called data saturation . This refers to when you’ve investigated your topic and analyzed your data to the point where no new information can be found. To achieve this, you need to work your way through your data set multiple times, developing greater depth and insight each time. This can be quite time consuming and even a bit boring at times, but it’s essential.

Once you’ve reached the point of saturation, you should have an almost-complete analysis and you’re ready to move onto the next step – final review.

review your analysis

Step 5: Review your work

Hey, you’re nearly there. Good job! Now it’s time to review your work.

This final step requires you to return to your research questions and compile your answers to them, based on the analysis. Make sure that you can answer your research questions thoroughly, and also substantiate your responses with evidence from your data.

Usually, discourse analysis studies make use of appendices, which are referenced within your thesis or dissertation. This makes it easier for reviewers or markers to jump between your analysis (and findings) and your corpus (your evidence) so that it’s easier for them to assess your work.

When answering your research questions, make you should also revisit your research aims and objectives , and assess your answers against these. This process will help you zoom out a little and give you a bigger picture view. With your newfound insights from the analysis, you may find, for example, that it makes sense to expand the research question set a little to achieve a more comprehensive view of the topic.

Let’s recap…

In this article, we’ve covered quite a bit of ground. The key takeaways are:

  • Discourse analysis is a qualitative analysis method used to draw meaning from language in context.
  • You should consider using discourse analysis when you wish to analyze the functions and underlying meanings of language in context.
  • The two overarching approaches to discourse analysis are language-in-use and socio-political approaches .
  • The main steps involved in undertaking discourse analysis are deciding on your analysis approach (based on your research questions), choosing a data collection method, collecting your data, investigating the context of your data, analyzing your data, and reviewing your work.

If you have any questions about discourse analysis, feel free to leave a comment below. If you’d like 1-on-1 help with your analysis, book an initial consultation with a friendly Grad Coach to see how we can help.

discourse analysis of case study

Psst… there’s more (for free)

This post is part of our dissertation mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project. 

You Might Also Like:

Thematic analysis 101

30 Comments

Blessings sinkala

This was really helpful to me

Nancy Hatuyuni

I would like to know the importance of discourse analysis analysis to academic writing

Nehal Ahmad

In academic writing coherence and cohesion are very important. DA will assist us to decide cohesiveness of the continuum of discourse that are used in it. We can judge it well.

Sam

Thank you so much for this piece, can you please direct how I can use Discourse Analysis to investigate politics of ethnicity in a particular society

Donald David

Fantastically helpful! Could you write on how discourse analysis can be done using computer aided technique? Many thanks

Conrad

I would like to know if I can use discourse analysis to research on electoral integrity deviation and when election are considered free & fair

Robson sinzala Mweemba

I also to know the importance of discourse analysis and it’s purpose and characteristics

Tarien Human

Thanks, we are doing discourse analysis as a subject this year and this helped a lot!

ayoade olatokewa

Please can you help explain and answer this question? With illustrations,Hymes’ Acronym SPEAKING, as a feature of Discourse Analysis.

Devota Maria SABS

What are the three objectives of discourse analysis especially on the topic how people communicate between doctor and patient

David Marjot

Very useful Thank you for your work and information

omar

thank you so much , I wanna know more about discourse analysis tools , such as , latent analysis , active powers analysis, proof paths analysis, image analysis, rhetorical analysis, propositions analysis, and so on, I wish I can get references about it , thanks in advance

Asma Javed

Its beyond my expectations. It made me clear everything which I was struggling since last 4 months. 👏 👏 👏 👏

WAMBOI ELIZABETH

Thank you so much … It is clear and helpful

Khadija

Thanks for sharing this material. My question is related to the online newspaper articles on COVID -19 pandemic the way this new normal is constructed as a social reality. How discourse analysis is an appropriate approach to examine theese articles?

Tedros

This very helpful and interesting information

Mr Abi

This was incredible! And massively helpful.

I’m seeking further assistance if you don’t mind.

Just Me

Found it worth consuming!

Gloriamadu

What are the four types of discourse analysis?

mia

very helpful. And I’d like to know more about Ethnography-based discourse analysis as I’m studying arts and humanities, I’d like to know how can I use it in my study.

Rudy Galleher

Amazing info. Very happy to read this helpful piece of documentation. Thank you.

tilahun

is discourse analysis can take data from medias like TV, Radio…?

Mhmd ankaba

I need to know what is general discourse analysis

NASH

Direct to the point, simple and deep explanation. this is helpful indeed.

Nargiz

Thank you so much was really helpful

Suman Ghimire

really impressive

Maureen

Thank you very much, for the clear explanations and examples.

Ayesha

It is really awesome. Anybody within just in 5 minutes understand this critical topic so easily. Thank you so much.

Clara Chinyere Meierdierks

Thank you for enriching my knowledge on Discourse Analysis . Very helpful thanks again

Thuto Nnena

This was extremely helpful. I feel less anxious now. Thank you so much.

Submit a Comment Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

  • Print Friendly
  • Architecture and Design
  • Asian and Pacific Studies
  • Business and Economics
  • Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
  • Computer Sciences
  • Cultural Studies
  • Engineering
  • General Interest
  • Geosciences
  • Industrial Chemistry
  • Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Jewish Studies
  • Library and Information Science, Book Studies
  • Life Sciences
  • Linguistics and Semiotics
  • Literary Studies
  • Materials Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Social Sciences
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Theology and Religion
  • Publish your article
  • The role of authors
  • Promoting your article
  • Abstracting & indexing
  • Publishing Ethics
  • Why publish with De Gruyter
  • How to publish with De Gruyter
  • Our book series
  • Our subject areas
  • Your digital product at De Gruyter
  • Contribute to our reference works
  • Product information
  • Tools & resources
  • Product Information
  • Promotional Materials
  • Orders and Inquiries
  • FAQ for Library Suppliers and Book Sellers
  • Repository Policy
  • Free access policy
  • Open Access agreements
  • Database portals
  • For Authors
  • Customer service
  • People + Culture
  • Journal Management
  • How to join us
  • Working at De Gruyter
  • Mission & Vision
  • De Gruyter Foundation
  • De Gruyter Ebound
  • Our Responsibility
  • Partner publishers

discourse analysis of case study

Your purchase has been completed. Your documents are now available to view.

4. The Methodology of Case Studies and Critical Discourse Analysis

From the book discourses of domination, supplementary materials.

Please login or register with De Gruyter to order this product.

Discourses of Domination

Chapters in this book (19)

To read this content please select one of the options below:

Please note you do not have access to teaching notes, using discourse analysis in case study research in business-to-business contexts.

Field Guide to Case Study Research in Business-to-business Marketing and Purchasing

ISBN : 978-1-78441-080-3

Publication date: 27 August 2014

The basic thesis espoused in this chapter is that a discourse analytic approach, that explores managers’ stories, is equally valid as a more typical case study approach that seeks confirmatory data. Depth interviews with industrial network participants are conducted and described; interviews where managers are encouraged to talk of their lived experiences, beliefs, attitudes, and intentions. Specifically, this case study presents a qualitative exploration of identity processes in industrial networks, in particular social constructions of Indian modernity. The analysis suggests what these constructions mean for the management of buyer–seller relationships (cf. Bagozzi, 1995). The study also reflects calls for more empirical research to be undertaken to improve understanding of contemporary marketing practices, especially in large emerging market economies such as India and Brazil (Dadzie, Johnston, & Pels, 2008). Discursive data were collected in the form of transcripts from semi-structured interviews with a variety of managerial participants involved in trade between New Zealand (NZ) and India. All the participants are Indian, with interviews taking place in 2006 in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai. Interviews were conducted in English; with 23 individuals representing organizations operating in the lumber, wool, horticulture, dairy, engineering, IT, tourism, and education industries, they lasted between 45 and 90 minutes, and were recorded on audio and video media. The study goes some way toward addressing the dominant Western perspective prevalent in most studies of business relationships, and shows how discourse analysis can provide a rich analytical perspective on business-to-business relationships.

  • Discourse analysis
  • Industrial networks
  • Indian business

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgment.

We acknowledge the comments and suggestions made by James Fitchett and Nick Ashill in helping to maximize the contribution that this manuscript makes.

Ellis, N. and Rod, M. (2014), "Using Discourse Analysis in Case Study Research in Business-to-Business Contexts", Field Guide to Case Study Research in Business-to-business Marketing and Purchasing ( Advances in Business Marketing and Purchasing, Vol. 21 ), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 77-99. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1069-096420140000021003

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited

We’re listening — tell us what you think

Something didn’t work….

Report bugs here

All feedback is valuable

Please share your general feedback

Join us on our journey

Platform update page.

Visit emeraldpublishing.com/platformupdate to discover the latest news and updates

Questions & More Information

Answers to the most commonly asked questions here

  • Search Menu
  • Advance articles
  • Author Guidelines
  • Submission Site
  • Open Access
  • Why Submit?
  • About Applied Linguistics
  • Editorial Board
  • Advertising and Corporate Services
  • Journals Career Network
  • Self-Archiving Policy
  • Dispatch Dates
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Journals on Oxford Academic
  • Books on Oxford Academic

Issue Cover

Article Contents

1. introduction, 2. triangulation, cognition and experimentation in cda, 3. discourse-analytical case study, 4. experiment, 5. conclusion, acknowledgements.

  • < Previous

Event-Frames Affect Blame Assignment and Perception of Aggression in Discourse on Political Protests: An Experimental Case Study in Critical Discourse Analysis

  • Article contents
  • Figures & tables
  • Supplementary Data

Christopher Hart, Event-Frames Affect Blame Assignment and Perception of Aggression in Discourse on Political Protests: An Experimental Case Study in Critical Discourse Analysis, Applied Linguistics , Volume 39, Issue 3, June 2018, Pages 400–421, https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amw017

  • Permissions Icon Permissions

While critical discourse analysis (CDA) is largely an interpretative exercise, it places an emphasis on ‘triangulation’ as a guiding methodological principle intended to help ground analyses and guard against purely subjective readings of texts. Missing from CDA, however, is triangulation incorporating experimental methodologies. In this paper, I argue that CDA in general can benefit from an experimental dimension and that cognitive linguistic approaches in particular lend themselves to extension into experimentalism. I demonstrate this by reporting a recent experiment carried out within a cognitive linguistic framework on the effects of regular transactive versus reciprocal verbs in news reports of political protests. Results of the experiment show that in the context of media discourse on political protests, the presentation of these alternative constructions, as well as differences in information sequence, affect how people apportion blame and the level of aggression they perceive in social actors. The experiment thus not only provides evidence for the ideological effects of these particular linguistic differences but more generally goes some way to justifying CDA’s focus on micro-level lexico-grammatical features of texts.

Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is an inherently interdisciplinary approach to discourse analysis which is concerned primarily with the socio-semiotic functions performed by structures of text and talk. While CDA is largely an interpretative exercise, it places an emphasis on ‘triangulation’ as a guiding methodological principle intended to help ground analyses and guard against purely subjective readings of texts. In maintaining a commitment to triangulation, CDA has developed a number of multi-methodological approaches combining close text analysis with insights from, inter alia, history, philosophy, political theory, sociology, corpus linguistics, and cognitive science. Missing from CDA, however, is triangulation incorporating experimental methodologies. In this paper, I argue that CDA in general can benefit from an experimental dimension and that cognitive linguistic approaches in particular lend themselves to extension into experimentalism. Indeed, experimentation may be seen as the logical ‘next step’ for cognitive approaches to CDA. I demonstrate this by reporting a recent experiment carried out within a cognitive linguistic framework on the effects of regular transactive versus reciprocal verbs in news reports of political protests. In Section 2, then, I discuss in more detail the rationale for experimentation in CDA. In Section 3, I present a discourse-analytical case study which provides the impetus for the experiment reported in Section 4. In Section 5, I offer some conclusions.

CDA is, most fundamentally, a theory of how social action effects arise from the lexico-grammatical ‘choices’ routinely presented by texts (Fairclough 1989, 1995 ; Fowler 1991 ). CDA therefore involves interpreting the ideological or socio-semiotic functions performed by linguistic structures on specific occasions of use. 1 Through such detailed linguistic analyses, researchers in CDA hope to reveal (and resist) the ideological and persuasive properties of discourse practices perceived to be dominant ( van Dijk 1993 ). Since its inception, however, a number of now well-known critiques have been made of CDA ( Stubbs 1997 ; Widdowson 2004 ). Many of the criticisms raised concern issues of subjectivity in relation to processes of both data selection and interpretation. Specific issues include ‘cherry-picking’ and the representativeness of data analysed, biased interpretations based on political predispositions, and over-interpretation or under-interpretation of the cognitive, and thus potentially social action, effects of alternative structures in discourse. As stated by Cameron (2001 : 140), then, CDA ‘is enriched, and the risk of making overly subjective or sweeping claims reduced, by going beyond the single text to examine other related texts and to explore the actual interpretations their recipients make of them’. However, many of these concerns, while well-founded, relate only or mainly to the earliest incarnations of CDA in critical linguistics ( Fowler et al. 1979 ; Hodge and Kress 1979 ). Subsequently, based on principles of triangulation and afforded by new interdisciplinary connections, CDA has indeed developed fresh methods and approaches which go beyond isolated text analyses to explicitly address one or other of these issues.

Triangulation refers to the use of multiple means of inquiry in order to verify results through convergent lines of evidence ( Cicourel 1969 ). This can involve multiple data sets, investigators, theories, and/or methods ( Denzin 1970 ). In CDA, triangulation is typically used in order to guard against issues of subjectivity and thus to help validate analytical interpretations. In the discourse-historical approach, for example, researchers will usually analyse a number of texts belonging to different ‘fields of action’ or genres, often using focus groups, narrative interviews, and other ethnographic techniques to gather different kinds of data alongside more traditional types like policy documents, political speeches, and press reports ( Reisigl and Wodak 2001 ; Wodak and Kryzyzanoswki 2008 ; Krzyzanowski 2011 ). Analysing a range of data types helps reduce subjectivity by providing systematic evidence of the discourses which, articulated across text-types, contribute to the structuring of society. Another important means of triangulation now widely practised in CDA involves the use of corpus-linguistic techniques ( Koller and Mautner 2004 ; Baker et al. 2008; Gabrielatos and Baker 2008). Enabling large, representative sets of data to be analysed for reoccurring patterns of use, corpus-linguistic methods allow for the dominance of particular discursive practices to be verified, thereby justifying the analyst’s focus of investigation in close critical analysis. A further use of corpus-linguistic methods in CDA is in checking the interpretation of particular structures ( Coffin and O’Halloran 2006 ; O’Halloran 2007 ). For example, by consulting a reference corpus, which functions as a control, the analyst is able to check the inferences and evaluations likely to be associated with language usages found in the target corpus. One further form of triangulation recently found in CDA is the use of inter-analyst consistency tests ( Marchi and Talyor 2009 ; Baker and Levon 2015 ; Baker 2016). In the study by Baker (2016), for example, five analysts worked independently of each other on the same set of newspaper texts. The five analysts were also free to choose their own methodologies in conducting the analyses. The reports of the five analysts were then compared and quantified in order to reveal common findings. Baker notes that around a quarter of observations were shared by at least three of the five analysts. Such consistency tests help reduce subjectivity by pointing to features of the texts found to be significant by multiple researchers and through multiple methodological means. What these works all point to is a general trend in CDA towards adopting more empirical methods such that what characterizes contemporary CDA, as Weiss and Wodak (2007: 22) note, is an ‘endeavour to work interdisciplinarily, multi-methodically and on the basis of a variety of different empirical data’.

One further development in contemporary CDA is found in cognitive approaches ( van Dijk 1998 , 2008 ; O’Halloran 2003 ; Chilton 2004 , 2005 ). It is now increasingly recognized that any causal relation between language and social action is necessarily mediated by cognition ( Wodak 2006 ). This is formulated as the discourse–cognition–society triangle ( van Dijk 2009 , 2014 ). Various forms of cognitive structure and process have been proposed to operate at the interface between language use and social action ( Koller 2008 , 2012 ; van Dijk 2008 , Hart 2010 , 2014a ). What authors in cognitively oriented CDA agree on, however, is that the structures and processes which mediate between discourse and social action are multifaceted, integrating knowledge, values, norms, goals, motives, emotions, and decisions. Within cognitively oriented CDA, then, the ideological or socio-semiotic effects of texts are seen as ultimately constituted in their cognitive effects. It is important to recognize here that the cognitive processes studied in cognitive CDA do not equate with ‘rational’ processes but, rather, ‘cognitive’ encapsulates a range of mental phenomena including cognitive and affective processes (Damasio 1994). By cognitive effect, then, it is meant changes, based on exposure to certain language usages, in processes of comprehension, memory, attention, emotion, social perception, reasoning and decision-making, and so on. These cognitive processes are all involved in discursively constructing the worldviews on the back of which social actions are performed or supported.

One cognitive approach to CDA which has recently developed involves the application of cognitive linguistics ( Charteris-Black 2004 ; Chilton 2004 , 2005 ; Koller 2004 , 2008 , 2014 ; Hart 2010 , 2011a , 2013a , b , 2014a , b , 2015 ). Cognitive linguistic approaches to CDA are characterized by detailed semantic description of lexical, grammatical, and textual ‘constructions’. Specifically, cognitive linguistic CDA (CL-CDA) involves modelling the conceptual structures invoked by language usages and, in turn, considering the potential ideological functions or implications of those conceptual structures ( Hart 2014a ). In other words, it involves a socio-semiotic analysis of semantic characterizations of linguistic forms. This, arguably, presents a more empirical approach to CDA in so far as analyses are grounded in a principled, psychologically plausible model of language processing, given what is already known from other disciplines about the way the mind/brain works ( Langacker 1999 ). In so far as the semantic characterizations given of specific linguistic structures are taken from or motivated by analyses made within an apolitical field of linguistic inquiry, this approach also helps reduce the risks of subjectivity and over-interpretation ( Hart 2014a ). Grounding text analyses in cognitive linguistics, though, does not itself constitute triangulation. The analyses, or the predictions made by them, still need to be verified.

One way of doing this is through experimentation. Experimental methods, however, are missing as a form of triangulation in CDA. As O’Halloran (2005 : 342) states, ‘socio-cognitive analysis in CDA is not always empirically informed … and thus may wrongly assume that the critical discourse analyst is replicating the reading perspective of target readers’. This is in spite of frequent calls in CDA for data empirically demonstrating the ideological effects of texts. Fairclough (1995 : 9), for example, highlights as a problem ‘analysts who postulate ideological effects solely on the basis of analysis of texts without considering the diverse ways in which texts may be interpreted and responded to’. O’Halloran (2003 : 219) writes that ‘it is difficult to argue that analysts do not have to seek empirical justification for their socio-cognitive analysis of a text based on an ideal reader’. Of course, there are other ways besides experimentation to address the issue of audience reception. For example, by analysing blogs, comments sections, and so on, or by holding focus groups, which could demonstrate how a text is ‘taken up’ by participants in the communicative event. Experimental methods, however, provide one further line of convergent (or otherwise) evidence and can thus contribute to triangulation.

One reason that experimental methods may not be found in CDA is that ‘empirical psycholinguistic, causal-cognitive analysis of hard news is so difficult and cumbersome to achieve’ ( O’Halloran 2005 : 342). Another is that experimental methods may be misinterpreted as trying to reduce complex social processes to something that can be studied in a laboratory where the results of such decontextualization will necessarily be artificial. However, it is not the aim of conducting experiments in CDA to claim that the social, political, and historical dimensions of discourse are not important in the way that texts are interpreted. Rather, it is to recognize that the cognitive dimension is of equal importance and in so doing to answer particular criticisms of CDA by showing that alternative structures in discourse can, at least at the moment of interaction with the text, achieve cognitive effects. 2 Moreover, while experimentation does unavoidably involve decontextualization, such an ‘all else being equal’ kind of analysis is nevertheless valuable for CDA. A significant challenge for CDA is to go beyond theorizing the instrumentality of language to showing that language choices really do matter. While the social action effects of texts can never, of course, be directly observed, the cognitive effects of language use are observable. That is, while the link between language and social action is difficult to prove, the link between language and cognition is within empirical reach. And, as any social action effects of texts are necessarily contingent on cognitive effects, it is worth investigating the cognitive effects of texts in order (i) to verify the very possibility that language can have consequences in social action and not break the first link in the discourse–cognition–society triangle, and (ii) to validate CDA’s focus on, and interpretation of, particular lexico-grammatical structures in discourse. Such an approach to CDA falls in line with Weiss and Wodak’s (2007: 22, my emphasis) definition of triangulation through which, they state, researchers in CDA aim to ‘transcend the pure linguistic dimension and include more or less systematically the historical, political, sociological and/or psychological dimension in the analysis and interpretation of a specific discursive occasion’. As cognitive linguistic approaches to CDA are most directly concerned with, and make testable predictions about, the cognitive import of language usages, it is cognitive linguistic approaches to CDA more than any other which lend themselves especially well to extension into experimentalism.

One area of communication research where experimental methods have been successfully applied is in relation to news frames . In media studies, a frame is defined as a ‘central organizing idea’ around which a text hangs ( Gamson and Modigliani 1989 ; Entman 1993 ). For example, press reports on political protests tend to be structured in terms of a violence rather than, say, an injustice frame ( McLeod and Hertog 1992 ; Hackett and Zhou 1994 ; Boykoff 2006 ). Different frames makes salient different aspects of a story and in so doing achieve different kinds of cognitive, or framing, effect. Framing effects have been shown, for example, in information processing and memory recall ( Newhagen and Reeves 1992 ), attitude ( Nelson et al. 1997 ), and the formation of opinions and behavioural intentions ( Schuck and de Vreese 2006 ). 3 Entman (1993 : 52) identifies as the textual properties through which frames are manifested ‘the presence or absence of certain keywords, stock phrases, stereotyped images, sources of information and sentences that provide thematically reinforcing clusters of facts or judgements’. While research in this area, then, demonstrates empirically the power of frames in influencing cognition, where frames are understood as macro-concepts governing the thematic contents of a text, comparatively little research has been conducted on framing effects of the more subtle and specific lexico-grammatical distinctions characteristically analysed in CDA, which may be said to index or invoke alternative event-frames (see section below).

Two papers which do examine the cognitive effects of specific lexico-grammatical phenomena are Fausey and Matlock (2011) and Thibodeau and Boroditsky (2011) . Fausey and Matlock investigated the effects of aspect in describing some indiscretion of a fictional politician. They found that subjects presented with the perfective aspect rated the politician’s chances of re-election as higher than subjects presented with the imperfective aspect. Thibodeau and Boroditsky tested the effects of metaphor in communication about crime. They found that subjects presented with a crime as wild beast metaphor were more likely to suggest redressive measures relating to enforcement (capture, punish, etc.), while subjects presented with a crime as virus metaphor were more likely to suggest redressive measures relating to reform (diagnose, treat, etc.). In other words, the metaphors had an effect on respondents’ reasoning and decision-making processes with suggestions on how to address crime being found to fit with the particular metaphorical framing given. Studies such as these are clearly relevant for CDA and may provide useful templates for experimental design. They suffer one serious problem from a CDA perspective, however, which is that they are not based on attested discourse practices discerned from a specific discourse-analytical case study. Any experiment in CDA must, by contrast, start from hypotheses made on the back of qualitative analyses of observed (differences in) discourse data. In the following section, I therefore present a cognitive linguistic analysis of online newspaper data with a focus on the alternative event-frames used to conceptualize violent interactions at political protests. The analysis provides the basis of and motivation for the experiment reported in the following section.

Activists who had masked their faces with scarves traded punches with police. ( Guardian , 10 November 2010)

A number of police officers were injured after they came under attack from youths, some wearing scarves to hide their faces. ( Telegraph , 10 November 2010)

Per cent of action events in which protesters are agentive encoded with regular transactive versus reciprocal verbs

Per cent of action events in which protesters are agentive encoded with regular transactive versus reciprocal verbs

(3) [police wielding batons] clashed with [a crowd hurling placard sticks, eggs and bottles] ( Guardian , 10 November 2010)

(4) Twenty-three people were arrested as [protestors] clashed with [police] around the Bank of England. ( Telegraph , 1 April 2009)

(5) About three dozen police officers were blocking the entrance to the town hall ( Mail , 24 November 2010)

(6) Officers led them down from various floors of the seven-storey building ( Mail , 10 November 2010)

Although, based on such small samples of data, none of these results would be statistically significant, they do show clear, divergent patterns of distribution which, from a critical cognitive perspective, suggest that the alternative grammatical constructions belong to alternative repertoires in political protest reporting and may therefore be ideologically significant in encoding contrasting conceptualizations which instantiate competing worldviews. 4

Within a cognitive linguistics framework, alternative grammatical constructions are seen as indexing and invoking alternative event-frames ( Fillmore 1982 ; Talmy 2000 ; Ruppenhofer et al. 2010 ). An event-frame is different to a news frame in so far as it does not constitute a general value-oriented concept around which a text is constructed but, rather, represents a basic unit of experience in terms of which specific interactions get classified and understood. An event-frame is defined by Talmy (2000 : 259) as ‘a set of conceptual elements and interrelationships that are evoked together or co-evoke each other’ in order to provide coherence and organization to a scene and to distinguish it from other types of scene. Event-frames, thus, represent specific kinds of interaction between actors and objects in the world. They are evoked by different lexico-grammatical constructions, where the conceptual elements that make up an event-frame correspond with the semantic roles specified in a verb’s canonical argument structure. The most basic event-frames are conceptually represented in the form of image schemata ( Langacker 1987 , 1991, 2008 ).

Information sequence in reciprocal form constructions

Information sequence in reciprocal form constructions

Crucially, as in other forms of framing, alternative event-frames are available to conceptualize the same material situation in different ways. Regular transactive versus reciprocal constructions, for example, are analysed as invoking a one-sided versus a two-sided action event-frame, respectively. In a one-sided action event-frame, there is a unidirectional transfer of energy from an agent (A), ‘upstream’ in the energy flow, to a patient (P), ‘downstream’ in the energy flow. In such a conceptualization, the agent is the sole source of energy in the interaction, while the patient is the energy sink . 5 In a two-sided action event-frame, by contrast, there is a bidirectional flow of energy between the two participants, each of whom is encoded as agentive. As such, in a two-sided action event-frame, both participants are simultaneously an energy source and sink in the interaction. The two contrasting event-frames are modelled in Figure 3 .

One-sided versus two-sided action event frame

One-sided versus two-sided action event frame

From a critical perspective, in the context of discourse on political protests, these alternative conceptualizations serve to apportion blame and responsibility for violent encounters in different ways. In the two-sided action event-frames favoured by the Guardian , responsibility is shared more equally between the police and the protesters, while in the one-sided action event-frame favoured by the right-wing press, responsibility is assigned solely to the protesters, with the police presented as victims of the violence. These contrasting conceptualizations can therefore be interpreted as indexical of competing ideologies or worldviews concerning the relation between state and citizen, the role of the police in maintaining public order, and the (de)legitimacy of protest as a form of political action. The one-sided action event-frames found in the right-wing press may be said to reflect a worldview in which the police are seen as legitimate defenders of civil order, while protest is seen as a deviation from normative behaviour ( Hall 1973 : Murdock 1973 ). By contrast, the two-sided action event-frames found in the Guardian may be said to at least recognize a discourse in which the police are seen as more authoritarian figures interfering with the right to public political expression.

A further feature of conceptualization consists in point of view as many, if not all, grammatical constructions include as part of their semantic values a viewpoint specification ( Langacker 2008 ; Bergen 2012 ). That is, the event-frame activated is construed from a particular vantage point or point of view (PoV). Hart (2014a , 2015 ) models this in terms of PoV shifts in one of three dimensions: anchor , angle , and distance . He argues that the distinction between active and passive voice in regular transactive constructions and information sequence in reciprocal constructions can be characterized in terms of a PoV shift in the anchor aspect. On this account, the active voice in regular transactive constructions is analysed as encoding a PoV in line with the perspective of the agent upstream in the energy flow. The passive voice is analysed as encoding a PoV in line with the perspective of the patient downstream in the energy flow. Reciprocal verbs, by contrast, are analysed as encoding a PoV perpendicular to the flow of energy such that the conceptualizer comes to form a triangular relation with actors in the event-frame. Motivated by an iconic relation between sequential ordering in the clause and spatial ordering in the conceptualization ( Perniss et al. 2010 ), differences in information sequence are then analysed as encoding contrasting PoVs which reverse the left–right configuration of actors relative to the conceptualizer. Thus, while the information sequence in (3) locates the police to the left of the conceptualizer and the protesters to the right, the sequence in (4) places the protesters to the left and the police to the right. These four cardinal points of view are modelled in Figure 4 .

Point of view variables in conceptualization

Point of view variables in conceptualization

In critically interpreting the function of PoV, Hart (2014a , 2015 , in 2016a,b) draws connections with both embodiment and visual social semiotics. He argues that, from the PoV of the agent in active voice constructions, the conceptualizer is more likely to affiliate with the agent and see their actions as legitimate, while from the shared perspective of the patient in passive voice constructions, the conceptualizer is more likely to affiliate with the patient and see the actions of the agent as antagonistic. In the case of reciprocal constructions, although comparatively more neutral and less ‘involved’ (cf. Kress and van Leeuwen 2006 ), it is argued that the alternative right–left positioning of participants confers upon them more positive versus negative evaluations, respectively. Historically, for example, left is symbolically associated with bad, while right is associated with good ( McManus 2003 ). Similarly, within the body-specificity hypothesis, it has been experimentally shown that left is typically associated with negative valence, while right is typically associated with more positive valence ( Casasanto 2009 ).

The case study reported in this section suggests some pragmatic significance in the use of regular transactive versus reciprocal constructions in media discourse on political protests. Distributional differences observed in data of different political orientation suggest that these grammatical forms are a conventional part of alternative repertoires in the reporting of violence at political protests and that these competing forms may therefore perform some ideological function in this context. Qualitative analysis within a CL-CDA framework, in turn, attributes specific, contextually bound, ideological or socio-semiotic functions to these forms. These analyses amount to hypotheses concerning cognitive responses of readers. The extent to which these alternative forms actually succeed in achieving any cognitive effects, however, remains uncorroborated. In the following section, therefore, by way of triangulation, I report an experiment testing the cognitive effects of reciprocal versus regular transactive verbs in the context of discourse on political protests.

4.1 Participants

Participant characteristics

Participants were asked to state which party they most affiliated with between Labour versus Conservatives (UK) and Democrats versus Republicans (USA).

4.2 Materials and design

Participants were presented with a survey that included a short (one paragraph) news report about a recent political protest in the fictional city of Southfield. When participants had indicated that they had read the report, the report disappeared and they were asked a series of three follow-up questions. No ‘back’ button was given inside the survey and participants were instructed not to use the ‘back’ button on their Web browser. This ensured that participants did not re-read the report when answering the follow-up questions. The task was one of four in total, with the other three being unrelated to this study.

Report 1 . A protest against local council policy turned violent yesterday in the city of Southfield. Protesters attacked police officers amid scenes of chaos outside City Hall. The protest later moved to the central square where protesters continued to assault police officers. Police officers used batons to control the crowds, which eventually dispersed around 9 pm. 10 people received treatment for injuries.

Report 2 . A protest against local council policy turned violent yesterday in the city of Southfield. Police officers came under attack from protesters amid scenes of chaos outside City Hall. The protest later moved to the central square where police officers continued to be assaulted by protesters. Police officers used batons to control the crowds, which eventually dispersed around 9 pm. 10 people received treatment for injuries.

Report 3 . A protest against local council policy turned violent yesterday in the city of Southfield. Protesters clashed with police officers amid scenes of chaos outside City Hall. The protest later moved to the central square where protesters continued to trade punches with police officers. Police officers used batons to control the crowds, which eventually dispersed around 9 pm. 10 people received treatment for injuries.

Report 4 . A protest against local council policy turned violent yesterday in the city of Southfield. Police officers clashed with protesters amid scenes of chaos outside City Hall. The protest later moved to the central square where police officers continued to trade punches with protesters. Police officers used batons to control the crowds, which eventually dispersed around 9 pm. 10 people received treatment for injuries.

Where would you place the blame for the violence that occurred?

How aggressive do you think the protesters were?

How aggressive do you think the police were?

Participants answered Q1 on a five-point Likert scale <Protesters Fully to Blame – Protesters Mainly to Blame – Both Parties Equally to Blame – Police Mainly to Blame – Police Fully to Blame>. Participants answered Q2 and Q3 on a seven-point semantic differential scale with bipolar evaluations <Not Aggressive at All – Extremely Aggressive>. As neither question types yielded normal distributions, non-parametric tests were used in the statistical analyses. For Q1, involving nominal values, analysis was carried out using chi-square with a significance level set at p < .05. For Q2 and Q3 involving ordinal values, analysis was carried out using Mann–Whitney U test with significance level again set at p < .05. All and only participants who completed the whole survey were included.

4.3 Results

In Q1, participants were asked to assign blame for the violence that occurred. It was hypothesized that blame would be assigned more evenly in the two-sided action event-frame invoked by reciprocal constructions than in the one-sided action event-frame invoked by regular transactive constructions. Overall, there was a significant difference in how participants responded ( χ 2 = 32.3911, p < .00001). Participants given the regular transactive condition with protesters as the sole agent in the event-frame (Reports 1 and 2) were more likely to see the protesters as either fully (22 per cent) or mainly (54 per cent) to blame and less likely to assign equal blame (18 per cent). Very few participants viewed the police as shouldering any blame (mainly = 6 per cent, fully = 0 per cent). Conversely, in the reciprocal condition (Reports 3 and 4), participants were much more likely to apportion equal blame to actors in the event (45 per cent). Moreover, of those participants who did assign more blame to one actor over the other, there was a fairly even distribution (protesters fully to blame = 6 per cent, protesters mainly to blame = 25 per cent, police mainly to blame = 23 per cent and police fully to blame = 1 per cent). The results for Q1 are shown in Figure 5 with the two points ‘fully to blame’ and ‘mainly to blame’ on the Likert scale conflated into a single category.

Blame attribution in regular versus reciprocal constructions

Blame attribution in regular versus reciprocal constructions

Although participants given reciprocal verb constructions were more likely to apportion blame evenly, a difference could be seen between those participants who did assign more blame to one actor over the other, which depended on information sequence. As shown in Figure 6 , participants given the protester-first version (Report 3) were more likely to place the blame with the protesters (46 per cent) than the police (11 per cent), while the converse was observed for participants given the police-first version (Report 4), who were more likely to place the blame with the police (36 per cent) than the protesters (15 per cent) ( χ 2 = 13.5761, p < .01).

Blame attribution in two-sided event-frames. Pro = protesters, Pol = police

Blame attribution in two-sided event-frames. Pro = protesters, Pol = police

In Q2 and Q3, participants were asked to evaluate the aggressiveness of actors in the event on a seven-point semantic differential scale. It was hypothesized that aggression ratings would differ according to whether the event is construed in terms of a one-sided versus a two-sided action event-frame and, in turn, according to shifts in PoV prompted by voice and information sequence. Overall, as expected, results show that police are rated as more aggressive in response to reciprocal constructions than regular transactive constructions in which they are the patient ( U = 1,436, p < .00001). Conversely, protesters are rated as less aggressive in response to reciprocal constructions than regular transactive constructions in which they are the agent ( U = 1,893, p < .001). These results are shown in Figure 7 . Interestingly, it is worth noting that when they occur in a two-sided action event-frame—compare Figure 7(b) and (d) —the police are rated as more aggressive than protesters ( U = 2,829, p < .05).

Aggression ratings for police and protesters in reciprocal versus regular transactive constructions. (a) Police aggression, regular construction. (b) Police aggression, reciprocal construction. (c) Protester aggression, regular construction. (d) Protester aggression, reciprocal construction

Aggression ratings for police and protesters in reciprocal versus regular transactive constructions. (a) Police aggression, regular construction. (b) Police aggression, reciprocal construction. (c) Protester aggression, regular construction. (d) Protester aggression, reciprocal construction

Within reciprocal constructions, it is predicted that information sequence, as a consequence of relative left–right arrangements of actors in the event-frame, will result in slight differences in the level of aggression attributed to actors. This is indeed observed where, as shown in Figure 8(a) , when the protesters appear first in the clause, they are rated as more aggressive by more participants than when they appear second. Although this particular result is not statistically significant ( U = 898.5, p = .06432, ns ), it is indicative that a similar pattern is observed in relation to the police, which, shown in Figure 8(b) , is statistically significant ( U = 545.5, p < .01).

Aggression ratings for police and protesters in reciprocal constructions. (a) Protester aggression. (b) Police aggression

Aggression ratings for police and protesters in reciprocal constructions. (a) Protester aggression. (b) Police aggression

The final prediction to emerge from the analyses in Section 3 is that in regular transactive constructions, the agent, in this case the protesters, will be rated as more antagonistic in the passive voice than in the active. However, there was no difference in aggression rating between voice alternatives ( U = 555, p = .82588, ns ).

4.4 Discussion

In this experiment, I have investigated the cognitive effects (specifically blame allocation and social perception of aggression) of alternative action event-frames indexed in regular transactive versus reciprocal verb constructions and PoV shifts indexed in voice and information sequence in media discourse on political protests. It was found that conceptualizing interactions between police and protesters in terms of a one-sided action event-frame leads to blame being placed predominantly with the agent (in this case the protesters). Conceptualizing the same interaction in terms of a two-sided action event-frame leads to blame being more equally assigned. At the same time, police are perceived as more aggressive in a two-sided action event-frame than when in the role of patient in a one-sided action event frame. And protesters are perceived as more aggressive when they are agents in a one-sided action event-frame than when they are agents in a two-sided action event-frame. It seems, then, that the presence of the police as an agent in a two-sided action event-frame serves not only to increase the perceived level of aggression for the police but, by the same token, to downplay perceived level of aggression of protesters relative to a one-sided action event-frame in which they are the sole agent. It was further found that when the police appear as agents in a two-sided action event-frame, they are perceived as more aggressive than protesters. Within a two-sided action event-frame, actors appearing first in the linear organization of the clause and therefore on the left in the event-frame received more blame for the violent encounter and were perceived as more aggressive than the actor appearing second in the clause and therefore on the right in the event-frame. This is in line with predictions made on the back of the body-specificity hypothesis ( Casasanto 2009 ). Interestingly, however, the effect on aggression perception was greater in relation to the police than in relation to protesters. This, along with overall higher aggression ratings for police than protesters in a two-sided event-frame, may be due to the challenge that this conceptualization presents to the prevailing discourse of police as protector. No similar effect was found for voice alternatives in one-sided action event-frames. This may be due to a number of reasons. One, however, is that humans are extremely good at perspective-switching ( MacWhinney 2008 ) and this may serve to override any potential effects of PoV shifts invoked by voice. Either way, the results suggest that voice might not be the most important linguistic feature affecting how an event is conceptualized.

Overall, though, the results of this experiment show that subtle lexico-grammatical differences can make a significant difference in how readers interpret and respond to the same story. In this, as perhaps expected, it is aspects of language usage traditionally thought of as more semantic that make the most difference but, in line with other studies ( Fausey and Matlock 2011 ), grammatical properties are shown to matter too.

Of course, people do not process texts free of a priori assumptions and value positions ( Widdowson 2004 ). Political orientation may therefore be a contributing factor in how people respond to texts. Participants in the experiment were thus asked to express their political affiliation at the end of the survey. When we compare across political affiliation, however, we find it is not a significant factor in either blame allocation ( χ 2 = 2.6302, p = .621491, ns ) or aggression rating for police ( U = 1,667, p = .45326, ns ). This suggests that people do not just blame one party regardless based on political predispositions but are susceptible to the influence of language. Political affiliation is significant, though, in aggression ratings for protesters where participants who affiliate with Conservative (Republican) values are more likely to perceive protesters as more aggressive than participants who affiliate with Labour (Democrat) values ( U = 1,389, p < .05). Interestingly, however, if we examine the effects of reciprocal versus regular transactive verbs on aggression rating for each group separately, we find no significant effect for Conservatives, while Labour affiliates still perceive protesters as more aggressive in the regular transactive condition than the reciprocal condition ( U = 1,154, p < .001). This suggests a more entrenched view of protesters as deviant for Conservatives, while those on the left of the political spectrum are likely to form more nuanced views on a context-by-context basis.

The experiment shows that seemingly minor lexico-grammatical differences of the kind typically singled out in critical discourse analyses can make a significant difference in social perceptions of the actors and actions involved in hard news events. The paper therefore goes some way to validating the general epistemology of CDA. However, we must be careful not to hold the findings of this one study up as evidence for the ideological functions of all lexico-grammatical constructions as they have been analysed elsewhere in CDA. Likewise, we must be careful not to attribute context-independent functions and effects to particular forms. Given the basic tenets of CDA, such generalizations are unlikely to hold and are not particularly helpful. This paper has focused solely on regular transactive versus reciprocal verbs in the specific context of reporting violence at political protests and the findings of the paper potentially extend only as far as this particular case study. Much more experimental work is therefore needed in CDA to show, through a range of independent case studies, that and how contrasting linguistic features function ideologically in different discursive contexts. We must also be cautious not to claim a simple causal link between discourse, cognition, and social action. The relation between discourse and society is extremely complex, with all sorts of mediating factors—social, political, and historical. The relation between discourse and cognition is similarly complex, where the cognitive import of textual choices is subject to extra-textual factors like relative frequency, resonance, and epistemic vigilance. However, this paper has demonstrated the utility of experimental methods in CDA by showing that specific linguistic differences observed in authentic discourse data do have consequences in cognition at least at the moment of interaction with the text. This serves to justify attention to these particular structures in future case studies of similar data. While certainly not claiming that all CDA should involve an experimental dimension, then, I do suggest that experimental methods can provide a fruitful form of triangulation for cognitive approaches to CDA in particular, where a useful way to proceed is from a discourse-analytical case study, which yields hypotheses concerning the cognitive effects of attested language usages, to an experimental study testing those predicted effects. This is further strengthened by a quantitative step in between to check that the pattern observed in a small data set represents a repeated pattern in a larger corpus.

With thanks to Sam Kirkham and Daniel Ezra Johnson for help with issues of design and statistical analysis. Any errors are my own.

1 Note that this is not to attribute the same socio-semiotic function to a given linguistic structure across all its contexts of use.

2 Of course, readers are free to later update, delete, or replace their mental representations and/or adjust their value positions ( Chilton 2004 ; Hart 2011b) . However, repeated patterns in influential genres of discourse make certain representations cognitively more accessible and thus more costly, in terms of processing efforts, to question or counter ( Maillat and Oswald 2011 ; Oswald and Hart 2014) . Here, corpus linguistic methods may be usefully incorporated.

3 Such framing effects have been shown for visual as well as verbal texts ( Arpan et al. 2006 ; Coleman 2010 ; Powell et al. 2015 ).

4 At this point, it would be worthwhile to ‘up-sample’ and investigate whether the pattern found in such small-scale analyses is found to be statistically significant within a large corpus of data. Such an approach would be in line with the kind of triangulation practised in corpus approaches to CDA. To do so, however, would take us beyond the limits of this paper.

5 The transfer of energy from agent to patient may be via an instrument which thus acts as a ‘transmitter’.

6 Mechanical Turk is not currently available to researchers outside the USA.

7 The uneven distribution is due to two main factors: the random assignment of the reports by the survey software and the inclusion of only fully completed surveys.

Arpan L. M. , Baker K. , Youngwon L. , Taejin J. , Lorusso L. , Smith J. . 2006 . ‘News coverage of social protests and the effects of photographs on prior attitudes,’ Mass Communication and Society 9 : 1 – 20 .

Google Scholar

Baker P. , Levon E. . 2015 . ‘Picking the right cherries? A comparison of corpus-based and qualitative analyses of news articles about masculinity,’ Discourse and Communication 9 : 221 – 36 .

Behrend T. S. , Sharek D. J. , Meade A. W. , Weibe E. N. . 2011 . ‘The viability of crowdsourcing for survey research,’ Behaviour Research Methods 43 : 800 – 13 .

Bergen B. K. 2012 . Louder than Words: The New of Science of How the Mind Makes Meaning . Basic Books .

Google Preview

Boykoff J. 2006 . ‘Framing dissent: Mass-media coverage of the global justice movement,’ New Political Science 28 : 201 – 28 .

Buhrmester M. D. , Kwang T. , Gosling S. D. . 2011 . ‘Amazon's mechanical Turk: A new source of inexpensive, yet high-quality, data?,’ Perspectives on Psychological Science 6 : 3 – 5 .

Cameron L. 2001 . Working with Spoken Discourse . Oxford University Press .

Casasanto D. 2009 . ‘Embodiment of abstract concepts: Good and bad in right- and left-handers,’ Journal of Experimental Psychology 138 : 351 – 67 .

Charteris-Black J. 2004 . Corpus Approaches to Critical Metaphor Analysis . Palgrave

Cicourel A. 1969 . Method and Measurement in Sociology . The Free Press .

Chilton P. 2004 . Analysing Political Discourse: Theory and Practice . Routledge .

Chilton P. 2005 . ‘Missing links in mainstream CDA: Modules, blends and the critical instinct’ in Wodak R. , Chilton P. (eds): A New Agenda in (Critical) Discourse Analysis: Theory, Methodology and Interdisciplinarity . John Benjamins , pp. 19 – 52 .

Coffin C. , O’Halloran K. . 2006 . ‘The role of APPRAISAL and corpora in detecting covert evaluation,’ Functions of Language 13 : 77 – 110 .

Coleman R. 2010 . ‘Framing the pictures in our heads: Exploring the framing and agenda-setting effects of visual images’ in D’Angelo P. , Kuypers J. A. (eds): Doing News Framing Analysis . Routledge , pp. 233 – 62 .

Crump J. C. , McDonnel J. V. , Gureckis T. M. . 2013 . ‘Evaluating Amazon’s mechanical Turk as a tool for experimental behavioural research,’ PLoS One 8 : e57410.

Damasio A. R. 1994 . Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain . Quill .

Denzin N. K. 1970 . The Research Act: A Theoretical Introduction to Sociological Methods . Aldine .

Entman R. M. 1993 . ‘Framing: Toward clarification of a fractured paradigm,’ Journal of Communication 4 : 51 – 8 .

Fairclough N. 1995 . Critical Discourse Analysis: The Critical Study of Language . Longman .

Fausey C. M. , Matlock T. . 2011 . ‘Can grammar win elections?,’ Political Psychology 32 : 563 – 74 .

Fillmore C. 1982 . ‘Frame semantics’ in Linguistics Society of Korea (eds): Linguistics in the Morning Calm . Hanshin Publishing Co. , pp. 111 – 37 .

Fowler R. 1991 . Language in the News: Discourse and Ideology in the Press . Routledge .

Fowler R. , Hodge R. , Kress G. , Trew T. 1979 . Language and Control . Routledge and Kegan Paul .

Gabrielatos C. , Baker P. 2008 . ‘Fleeing, sneaking, flooding: A corpus analysis of discursive constructions of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 1996-2005,’ Journal of English Linguistics 36 : 5 – 38 .

Gamson W.A. , Modigliani A. ( 1989 ). ‘Media discourse and public opinion on nuclear power: A constructionist approach,’ American Journal of Sociology 95 : 1 – 37 .

Germine L. , Nakayama K. , Duchine B. C. , Chabris C. F. , Chatterjee G. , Wilmer J. B. . 2012 . ‘Is the Web as good as the lab? Comparable performance from web and lab in cognitive/perceptual experiments,’ Pyschonomic Bulletin & Review 19 : 847 – 57 .

Hackett R. , Zhou Y. . 1994 . ‘Challenging a master narrative: Peace protest and opinion/editorial discourse in the US press during the Gulf War,’ Discourse and Society 5 : 509 – 41 .

Hall S. 1973 . ‘A world at one with itself’ in Cohen S. , Young J. (eds): The Manufacture of News: Deviance, Social Problems and the Mass Media . Constable , pp. 147 – 56 .

Hart C. 2010 . Critical Discourse Analysis and Cognitive Science: New Perspectives on Immigration Discourse . Palgrave .

Hart C. 2011a . ‘Force-interactive patterns in immigration discourse: A cognitive linguistic approach to CDA,’ Discourse & Society 22 : 269 – 86 .

Hart C. 2011b . ‘Legitimising assertions and the logico-rhetorical module: Evidence and epistemic vigilance in media discourse on immigration,’ Discourse Studies 13 : 751 – 69 .

Hart C. 2013a . ‘Event-construal in press reports of violence in political protests: A cognitive linguistic approach to CDA,’ Journal of Language and Politics 12 : 400 – 23 .

Hart C. 2013b . ‘Constructing contexts through grammar: Cognitive models and conceptualisation in British Newspaper reports of political protests’ in Flowerdew J. (ed.): Discourse and Contexts . Continuum , pp. 159 – 84 .

Hart C. 2014a . Discourse, Grammar and Ideology: Functional and Cognitive Perspectives . Bloomsbury .

Hart C. 2014b . ‘Construal operations in online press reports of political protests’ In Hart C. , Cap P. (eds): Contemporary Critical Discourse Studies . Bloomsbury , pp. 167 – 88 .

Hart C. 2015 . ‘Viewpoint in linguistic discourse: Space and evaluation in news reports of political protests,’ Critical Discourse Studies 12 : 238 – 60 .

Henrich J. , Heine S. J. , Norenzayan A. . 2010 . ‘The weirdest people in the world?,’ Behavioural and Brain Sciences 33 : 61 – 135 .

Hodge R. , Kress G. 1979 . Language as Ideology . Routledge and Kegan Paul .

Klein R. A. , Ratliff K. A. , Vianello M. , Adams R. B. Jr , Bahnik S. , Bernstein M. J. , Bocian K. , Brandt M. J. , Brooks B. , Brumbaugh C. C. , Cemalcilar Z. , Chandler J. , Cheong W. , Davis W. E. , Devos T. , Eisner M. , Frankowska N. , Furrow D. , Galliani E. M. , Hasselman F. , Hicks J. A. , Hovermale J. F. , Hunt S. J. , Huntsinger J. R. , IJzerman H. , John M. S. , Gaba J. , Kappes H. B. , Krueger L. E. , Kurtz J. , Levitan C. A. , Mallett R. K. , Morris W. L. , Nelson A. J. , Nier J. A. , Packard G. , Pilati R. , Rutchick A. M. , Schmidt K. , Skorinko J. L. , Smith R. , Steiner T. G. , Storbeck J. , Van Swol L. M. , Thompson D. , van ‘t Veer A. E. , Vaughn L. A. , Vranka M. , Wichman A. L. , Woodzicka J. A. , Nosek B. A. . 2014 . ‘Investigating variation in replicability,’ Social Psychology 45 : 142 – 52 .

Koller V. K. 2004 . Metaphor and Gender in Business Media Discourse: A Critical Cognitive Study . Palgrave .

Koller V. 2008 . ‘Corporate brands as socio-cognitive representations’ in Kristiansen G , Dirven R (eds): Cognitive Sociolinguistics: Language Variation, Cultural Models, Social Systems . De Gruyter . pp. 389 – 418 .

Koller V. 2012 . ‘How to analyse collective identity in discourse: Textual and contextual parameters,’ CADAAD 5 : 19 – 38 .

Koller V. 2014 . ‘Cognitive linguistics and ideology’ in Littlemore J. , Taylor J. (eds): The Bloomsbury Companion to Cognitive Linguistics . Bloomsbury , pp. 234 – 52 .

Koller V. , Mautner G. . 2004 . ‘Computer applications in critical discourse analysis’ in Coffin C. , Hewings A. , O'Halloran K. (eds): Applying English Grammar: Functional and Corpus Approaches . Hodder and Stoughton , pp. 216 – 28 .

Kress G. , van Leeuwen T. . 2006 . Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design . Routledge .

Krzyzanowski M. 2011 . ‘Political communication, institutional cultures, and linearities of organisation practice: A discourse-ethnographical approach to institutional change in the European Union,’ Critical Discourse Studies 8 : 281 – 96 .

Langacker R. W. 1987 . Foundations of Cognitive Grammar, Vol. I: Theoretical Prerequisites . Stanford University Press .

Langacker R. W. 1991 . Foundations of Cognitive Grammar, Vol. II: Descriptive Application . Stanford University Press .

Langacker R. W. 1999 . Grammar and Conceptualization . Walter de Gruyter .

Langacker R. W. 2008 . Cognitive Grammar: A Basic Introduction . Oxford University Press .

MacWhinney B. 2008 . ‘How mental models encode embodied linguistic perspectives’ in Klatzky R. , MacWhinney B. , Behrmann M. (eds): Embodiment, Ego-Space and Action . Laurence Erlbaum , pp. 369 – 410 .

Maillat D. , Oswald S. . 2011 . ‘Constraining context: A pragmatic account of cognitive manipulation’ in Hart C. (ed.): Critical Discourse Studies in Context and Cognition . John Benjamins , pp. 65 – 80 .

Marchi A. , Taylor C. 2009 . ‘If on a winter’s night two researchers…: a challenge to assumptions of soundness of interpretation,’ CADAAD 3 : 1 – 20 .

Mason W. , Suri S. . 2012 . ‘Conducting behavioural research on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk,’ Behavioural Research Methods 44 : 1 – 23 .

Murdock G. 1973 . ‘Political deviance: The press presentation of a militant mass demonstration’ in Cohen S. , Young J. (eds): The Manufacture of News: Deviance, Social Problems and the Mass Media . Constable , pp. 206 – 25 .

McLeod D. , Hertog J. 1992 . ‘The manufacture of “public opinion” by reporters: Informal cues for publication perceptions of protest groups,’ Discourse & Society 3 : 259 – 75 .

McManus C. 2003 . Right Hand, Left Hand . Phoenix

Nelson T. E. , Oxley Z. M. , Clawson R. A. . 1997 . ‘Toward a psychology of framing effects,’ Political Behavior 19 : 221 – 46 .

Newhagen J. E. , Reeves B. . 1992 . ‘This evening’s bad news: Effects of compelling negative television news images on memory,’ Journal of Communication 42 : 25 – 41 .

O’Halloran K. 2003 . Critical Discourse Analysis and Language Cognition . Edinburgh University Press .

O’Halloran K. 2005 . ‘Causal cognition and socio-cognition in critical discourse analysis: A reply to Rick Iedema,’ Linguistics and Education 16 : 338 – 48 .

O’Halloran K. 2007 . ‘Critical discourse analysis and the corpus-informed interpretation of metaphor at the register level,’ Applied Linguistics 28 : 1 – 24 .

Ofcom . 2014 . News Consumption in the UK: 2014 Report, available at http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/tv-research/news/2014/News_Report_2014.pdf .

Oswald S. , Hart C. . 2014 . ‘Trust based on bias: Cognitive constraints on source-related fallacies’ in Mohammed D. , Lewiński M. (eds): Virtues of Argumentation . Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation (OSSA) . OSSA , pp. 1 – 13 .

Paolacci G. , Chandler J. , Ipeirotis P. G. . 2010 . ‘Running experiments on Amazon mechanical Turk,’ Judgement and Decision Making 5 : 411 – 19 .

Perniss P. , Thompson R. , Vigliocco G. . 2010 . ‘Iconicity as a general property of language: Evidence from spoken and signed languages,’ Frontiers in Psychology 1 : 227.

Powell T. E. , Boomgaarden H. G. , Swert K. D. , de Vreese C. H. . 2015 . ‘A clearer picture: The contribution of visual and text to framing effects,’ Journal of Communication 65 : 997 – 1017 . doi: 10.1111/jcom.12184 .

Reisigl M. , Wodak R. . 2001 . Discourse and Discrimination: Rhetorics of Racism and Anti-Semitism . Routledge .

Ruppenhofer J. , Ellsworth M. , Petruck M. R. L. , Johnson C. R. , Scheffczyk J. . 2010 . FrameNet II: Extended Theory and Practice , available at https://framenet2.icsi.berkeley.edu/docs/r1.5/book.pdf .

Schuck R. T. , de Vreese C. H. . 2006 . ‘Between risk and opportunity: News framing and its effects on public support for EU enlargement,’ European Journal of Communication 21 : 5 – 31 .

Stubbs M. 1997 . ‘Whorf's children: Critical comments on critical discourse analysis (CDA)’ in Ryan A. , Wray A. (eds): Evolving Models of Language . British Association for Applied Linguistics . pp. 100 – 16 .

Talmy L. 2000 . Toward a Cognitive Semantics, Vol. I: Concept Structuring Systems . University of Chicago Press .

Thibodeau P. H. , Boroditsky L. . 2011 . ‘Metaphors we think with: The role of metaphor in reasoning,’ PLoS One 6 : e16782. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016782.

van Dijk T. A. 1993 . ‘Principles of critical discourse analysis,’ Discourse and Society . 4 : 243 – 89 .

Van Dijk T. A. 1998 . Ideology: A Multidisciplinary Approach . Sage .

Van Dijk T. A. 2008 . Discourse and context: A Socio-Cognitive Approach . Cambridge University Press .

van Dijk T. A. 2009 . ‘Critical discourse studies: A sociocognitive approach’ in Wodak R. , Meyer M. (eds): Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis , 2nd edn Sage , pp. 62 – 86 .

van Dijk T. A. 2014 . ‘Discourse-cognition-society: Current state and prospects of the socio-cognitive approach to discourse’ in Hart C. , Cap P. (eds): Contemporary Critical Discourse Studies . Bloomsbury , pp. 121 – 46 .

Weiss G. , Wodak R. (eds.), 2007 . Critical Discourse Analysis: Theory and Interdisciplinarity , 2nd edn Palgrave Macmillan .

Widdowson H. G. 2004 . Text, Context, Pretext: Critical Issues in Discourse Analysis . Blackwell .

Wodak R. 2006 . ‘Mediation between discourse and society: Assessing cognitive approaches in CDA,’ Discourse Studies . 8 : 179 – 90 .

Wodak R. , Krzyzanowski M. (eds). 2008 . Qualitative Discourse Analysis in the Social Sciences . Palgrave .

Woods A. T. , Velasco C. , Levitan C. A. , Wan X. , Spence C. . 2015 . ‘Conducting perception research over the internet: A tutorial review,’ Peer J 3 : e1058.

Email alerts

Citing articles via, looking for your next opportunity.

  • Recommend to your Library

Affiliations

  • Online ISSN 1477-450X
  • Print ISSN 0142-6001
  • Copyright © 2024 Oxford University Press
  • About Oxford Academic
  • Publish journals with us
  • University press partners
  • What we publish
  • New features  
  • Open access
  • Institutional account management
  • Rights and permissions
  • Get help with access
  • Accessibility
  • Advertising
  • Media enquiries
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Languages
  • University of Oxford

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide

  • Copyright © 2024 Oxford University Press
  • Cookie settings
  • Cookie policy
  • Privacy policy
  • Legal notice

This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription.

Political Discourse Analysis: A Case Study of Code Mixing and Code Switching in Political Speeches

Dama Sravani , Lalitha Kameswari , Radhika Mamidi

Export citation

  • Preformatted

Markdown (Informal)

[Political Discourse Analysis: A Case Study of Code Mixing and Code Switching in Political Speeches](https://aclanthology.org/2021.calcs-1.1) (Sravani et al., CALCS 2021)

  • Political Discourse Analysis: A Case Study of Code Mixing and Code Switching in Political Speeches (Sravani et al., CALCS 2021)
  • Dama Sravani, Lalitha Kameswari, and Radhika Mamidi. 2021. Political Discourse Analysis: A Case Study of Code Mixing and Code Switching in Political Speeches . In Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Computational Approaches to Linguistic Code-Switching , pages 1–5, Online. Association for Computational Linguistics.

IMAGES

  1. Discourse Analysis Of Interviews

    discourse analysis of case study

  2. (PDF) An Introduction to Discourse Analysis

    discourse analysis of case study

  3. Discourse Analysis Approach

    discourse analysis of case study

  4. Discourse Analysis| Introduction to Discourse Analysis| Methodologies|

    discourse analysis of case study

  5. (PDF) A critical discourse analysis of Saudi Okaz newspaper front-page

    discourse analysis of case study

  6. Political Discourse Analysis: A Case Study of Code Mixing and Code

    discourse analysis of case study

VIDEO

  1. CONVERSATIONAL ANALYSIS-DISCOURSE ANALYSIS

  2. Data Analysis Case Study- Ashlyn Thomas

  3. Discourse analysis of linguistic form and function

  4. DISCOURSE ANALYSIS- GROUP 1 ASSIGNMENT 1 PRESENTATION

  5. Qualitative Analysis

  6. Language and Identity| Part 2 Critical Discourse Analysis| Discourse Analysis||

COMMENTS

  1. Critical Discourse Analysis

    What is discourse analysis used for? Conducting discourse analysis means examining how language functions and how meaning is created in different social contexts. It can be applied to any instance of written or oral language, as well as non-verbal aspects of communication such as tone and gestures.

  2. What Is Discourse Analysis? Definition + Examples

    The purpose of discourse analysis is to investigate the functions of language (i.e., what language is used for) and how meaning is constructed in different contexts, which, to recap, include the social, cultural, political, and historical backgrounds of the discourse.

  3. Qualitative Research: Discourse Analysis

    Discourse analysis Brian David Hodges,1 Ayelet Kuper,2 Scott Reeves3 'Department of Psychiatry, This Wilson articles explores how discourse Centre for Research in Education, analysis is-useful for a wide range of University of Toronto, 200 Elizabeth Street, Eaton South 1 565, Toronto, ON, Canada research questions in health

  4. 4. The Methodology of Case Studies and Critical Discourse Analysis

    PART I: Establishing a Social Context 1. Theoretical Framework 2. Review of the Canadian Literature on Racism in the Print Media 3. Representation in the Media: An Empirical Study PART II: Case Studies and Critical Discourse Analysis 4. The Methodology of Case Studies and Critical Discourse Analysis 5. The Avery Haines Controversy 6.

  5. Using Discourse Analysis in Case Study Research in Business-to-Business

    ISBN : 978-1-78441-080-3 Publication date: 27 August 2014 Abstract The basic thesis espoused in this chapter is that a discourse analytic approach, that explores managers' stories, is equally valid as a more typical case study approach that seeks confirmatory data.

  6. Case studies in Discourse Analysis, ed. M. Danesi & S. Greco

    This collection of case studies in discourse aims to examine these agendas in specific situations, and thus to contribute to the growing significance of this exciting field of inquiry. It...

  7. Case Study Methodology of Qualitative Research: Key Attributes and

    1. Case study is a research strategy, and not just a method/technique/process of data collection. 2. A case study involves a detailed study of the concerned unit of analysis within its natural setting.

  8. PDF Critical Discourse Analysis of Political Speeches: A Case Study of

    Discourse analysis is based on micro and macro levels. Therefore, both linguistic and social analyses are important. Discourses are interpreted as communicative events because discourses between people convey messages beyond that of what is said at directly.

  9. 3. DISCOURSE-ANALYTICAL CASE STUDY

    Studies such as these are clearly relevant for CDA and may provide useful templates for experimental design. They suffer one serious problem from a CDA perspective, however, which is that they are not based on attested discourse practices discerned from a specific discourse-analytical case study.

  10. Critical Discourse Analysis of Political Speeches: A Case Study of

    Critical Discourse Analysis of Political Speeches: A Case Study of Obama's and Rouhani's Speeches at UN DOI: Authors: Masoud Sharififar Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman Elaheh Rahimi...

  11. Critical discourse analysis

    Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of discourse that views language as a form of social practice.CDA combines critique of discourse and explanation of how it figures within and contributes to the existing social reality, as a basis for action to change that existing reality in particular respects.

  12. Using Discourse Analysis in Case Study Research in Business-to-Business

    Using Discourse Analysis in Case Study Research in Business-to-Business Contexts Authors: Michel Roger Mark Rod University of New Brunswick Nick Ellis Durham University

  13. Foucauldian Discourse Analysis: Moving Beyond a Social Constructionist

    The decision of choosing a qualitative data analytic (e.g., thematic analysis, thematic decomposition analysis (DA), content analysis, grounded theory, discourse/critical discourse analysis, constant comparative method or analysis) is also influenced by how data are socially produced and collected, as well as the purposes and context of the study.

  14. Critical discourse analysis in political communication research: a case

    As such, it provides a detailed overview of the theoretical underpinnings of critical discourse analysis, its significant approaches and their shared tenets. The case study of Australian Senator Pauline Hanson's 2016 maiden speech provides a step-by-step account of the processes involved in conducting a critical discourse analysis, including ...

  15. Using automated semantic tagging in Critical Discourse Analysis: A case

    Flowerdew, J. ( 1997) 'The Discourse of Colonial Withdrawal: A Case Study in the Creation of Mythic Discourse', Discourse & Society 8: 453-77. Google Scholar Fowler, N. ( 1996) 'On Critical Linguistics' , in C.R. Caldas-Coulthard and M. Coulthard (eds) Texts and Practices: Readings in Critical Discourse Analysis , pp. 3-14.

  16. Discourse analysis

    Discourse analysis (DA), or discourse studies, is an approach to the analysis of written, vocal, or sign language use, or any significant semiotic event. The objects of discourse analysis ( discourse , writing, conversation, communicative event ) are variously defined in terms of coherent sequences of sentences , propositions , speech , or ...

  17. PDF Metaphor Studies from the Perspective of Critical Discourse Analysis: A

    Discourse Analysis: A Case Study of Business Acquisition Song Guo School of Foreign Languages, Tianjin University of Commerce, 300134, China Abstract—Although Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) has been developing rapidly, it faces strong criticism from scholars due to its lack of attention to the cognitive aspects of discourse.

  18. DISCOURSE ANALYSIS AND CASE STUDY

    reviews. Most of the studies that have been performed to date have either been quantitative, or have qualitatively evaluated customers' feedback regarding their experiences using pre-constructed models. My research is a discourse analysis and case study of negative restaurant reviews of four Oakland, California restaurants. Using the

  19. Critical Discourse Analysis of Political Speeches: A Case Study of

    The aim of this paper is to survey the art of linguistic spin in Obama's and Rouhani's political speeches at UN in September 2013 based on Halliday's systematic functional linguistics. The analysis is mainly performed through the transitivity system and modality to represent how two presidents' language can incorporate both ideology and power in their political speeches. In other words, they ...

  20. Metaphor Studies from the Perspective of Critical Discourse Analysis: A

    Although Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) has been developing rapidly, it faces strong criticism from scholars due to its lack of attention to the cognitive aspects of discourse. As a fundamental cognitive tool to conceptualize the world, metaphor plays a vital role in constructing social reality. Providing a particular perspective of viewing the reality, metaphor forms an important part of ...

  21. Political Discourse Analysis: A Case Study of Code Mixing and Code

    Political Discourse Analysis: A Case Study of Code Mixing and Code Switching in Political Speeches. In Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Computational Approaches to Linguistic Code-Switching, pages 1-5, Online. Association for Computational Linguistics.

  22. Collaborative referencing using hand gestures in Wernicke's aphasia

    Collaborative referencing using hand gestures in Wernicke's aphasia: Discourse analysis of a case study. Suma R. Devanga a Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, ... This case study included 15 CRI sessions between Clyde and the clinician-partner. Each session consisted of a photo-matching ...

  23. A Case Study of Classroom Discourse Analysis of Teacher's Fronted

    This study examined classroom routine and interactional patterns of Grade 5 English Language reading comprehension lessons through delineating the speech act functions of instructional discourse that was based on Malcolm's sociolinguistic model (Malcolm, 1979a; Malcolm, 1979b; Malcolm, 1982; Malcolm, 1986).

  24. Evasiveness in Greek Political Interviews: A Case Study in ...

    This paper identifies the conversational practices of evasiveness in Greek political interviews and debates through Conversation Analysis (CA) methodology. The present study is accomplished according to Clayman and Heritage's proposed model of questioning and answering dimensions in American and British news interviews.