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Discourse analysis

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Ian Harris

on 17 May 2016

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Transcript of Discourse analysis

Ferdinand de Saussure
This is Leo Spitzer, considered by many linguists to be the founder of the field of discourse analysis, although most would acknowledge that this is somewhat arbitrary.
There is a long standing tradition of inquiry into how discourse works stretching back to the classical period and the writings of ancient Greek philosphers.
the examination of any significant
The science of language. It is the subject whose practitioners devote their energy to understanding why human language is the way it is. they study the history, acquisition, structure and use of as many languages as possible.
Professor David Crystal
Historical Linguistics
Varieties of Language
Discourse Analysis
Conversation Analysis
semiotic event
Discourse analysis is
Semiotics is the study of signs and how they function in the construction of meaning.
Signs can be either:
1. Iconic = similar to the thing they stand in for
2. Indexical = caused by the thing they stand in for
3. Symbolic = stand in for something by conventional usage
Signs are made of two parts:
1. Signifiers = the marks, sounds or gestures that we read, hear or observe
2. Signifieds = the things that the signifier stands in for
The relationship between these parts is arbitrary
Hearing the ringing noise tells us that there is a bell nearby
Could equally as well use the word chime
Discourse analysis aims at finding the arbitrary and conventional dimensions of semiosis (the processes of making meaning by signs).
Roland barthes
Charles Sanders Peirce
Language is like a hammer, it doesn't do to think too much about it when you are using it . You only really notice it when something goes wrong
Martin heidegger
Peirce and De Saussure may have taken different approaches to signs but they both see something arbitrary and conventional in the way the work.
The objective of a discourse analysis is to expose how the arbitrary and conventional distribution of power is being disguised in language
We are so familiar with the semiotic processes that go on around us that we often don't see these arbitrary and conventional relationships.
Instead, we behave as though the relationships between signs and meanings was necessary, unchanging and unchallengeable.
We can often hear these assumptions in discourse if we take the time to look for them.
They are often couched in claims about nature and common sense.
A photograph is always invisible, it is not it that we see.
1. Collect the object to be analysed, e.g. text, record of conversation, image,etc.
2. List the associations that the object elicits either in yourself or others.
3. Work out how the object elicits these associations.
The travellers of Dale Farm and their supporters had vowed they would ‘fight to the death’ to defend the illegal camp site from the bailiffs. But in the event, none made the ultimate sacrifice.
Hundreds of riot police armed with Tasers stormed the site at dawn yesterday, swiftly gaining control despite facing a hail of bricks and being threatened with spades as two caravans were set on fire.
Sporadic resistance continued for most of the day, but by last night the Battle of Basildon was all but won after 27 arrests.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2050762/Dale-Farm-eviction-Protesters-torch-caravan-riot-police-wield-axes.html#ixzz3PRpm42WH
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4. Once you know how the associations are being made you will be better able to identify what sort of discourse is being used, e.g. discourses on individualism, nature, tradition, nationalism, gender, race, class, etc.
5. Locate the object within the discourse(s) in order to expose the conclusions being drawn, or more usually alluded to, as motivated and potentially biased.
Discourse Analysis - a sort of how to guide
Full transcript