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Confronting critical discourse analysis with social media

Paper delivered at BAAL/CUP sponsored 'Language and Social Media' seminar at Leicester University, 26 April, 2012

Johnny Unger

on 8 July 2016

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Transcript of Confronting critical discourse analysis with social media

Confronting critical discourse anlaysis with social media
discourse analysis
CDA and the web
Case study
J W Unger • j.unger@lancaster.ac.uk • @johnnyunger
Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University
Earlier studies
Scollon & Scollon 2004: Nexus Analysis: discourse and the emerging internet
Lemke 2002 'Travels in Hypermodality'
Wodak & Wright 2004 'Multilingual Democratic Participation in a virtual public sphere?'
Mautner 2005 'Time to get wired: Using web-based corpora in critical discourse analysis'
Multi & hypermodal analysis of institutional web pages
Meanings created by semiotic elements and viewers actions in traversing between them

'The medium in which both confrontation and partnership, both subversion and empowerment, is most fully afforded today is that of hypertext.'
Scollon & Scollon 2004
'Any change in the technologies of discourse is inherently and necessarily a change in the discourse itself'

'A nexus analysis entails not only a close, empirical examination of the moment under analysis but also an historical analysis of those trajectories or discourse cycles that intersect in that moment as well as the anticipations that are opened up by the social actions taken in that moment'
Lemke 2002
Mautner 2005
Why is CDA not interested in the web?
Problem: the 'lack of pre-ordering, the indiscriminate mixing of voices and genres'
A-historicity of the web: a methodological and theoretical challenge

'It seems fairly safe to predict, therefore, that sooner rather than later a much larger number of critical discourse analysts than at present will build their corpora from the web as a matter of routine.'
Participation in politics via online media
Multilingualism on the web
Interaction (or lack of) between decision makers and constituents
Importance of design and institutional/individual control over topics and argumentation
Wodak & Wright 2004
The Twitter 'campaign'
Text: discursive strategies, hypermodal features, traversals, ethnography
Co-text: interaction (retweets, peripheral sites), Police use of Twitter?
Groups/institutions: Who is UKUncut? How is protest policed?
Society/history: Background to the cuts, history of protest against UK gov’t...
Final remarks
Is CDA ready for social media?
Need to be interact more with tools from other approaches (e.g. CMDA, DCOE)
Consider how counter-hegemonic texts can be studied
Enhanced interdisciplinary links
Look beyond the academy
The problem
Critical discourse analysis
Does not take much account of the web (Mautner 2005)
Can have a static notion of text
Prioritises small no. of 'powerful' texts by elites (but some 'ethnographic' work)
Linguistic research into social media
Nascent field with developing methodologies
descriptive, uncritical, unreflexive
Data repositories focus on form, exclude context
Often treats online and offline worlds as separate (digital dualism)
Researchers get excited by what is 'new' to them
Is social media ready for CDA?
Find ways of engaging ethnographic informants
Utilise (and contribute to) web 2.0 data repositories
Prospective critique: share findings
'refers to the social practice of communicating as manifested in spoken or written texts'
relation to context (at different levels)
repetition, reformulation, recontextualisation
resultant/related social actions
related attitudes, ideologies, etc.
(see Wodak 2001)
what is discourse?
Source: Unger (2009), based on Meyer (2001) and Wodak (2008)
'Confronting critical discourse analysis with social media' – Prezi by Johann W Unger is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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