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Critical Discourse Analysis

A presentation prepared for Identity and Agency in the Digital Nexus - a symposium at Athabasca University

Leslie Lindballe

on 9 March 2017

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Transcript of Critical Discourse Analysis

“Unlike much other scholarship, CDA does not deny but explicitly defines and defends its own sociopolitical position. That is, CDA is biased - and proud of it” (van Dijk 96).
CDA on the WWW
the frame problem
“Principled criteria for choosing what should go into the corpus need to be developed and applied” (Mautner 815), but “there is no such thing as an explicit theory of context” (van Dijk 108).
a communicative event
Critical Discourse Analysis
little 'd' discourse
big 'D' Discourse
"the syntax of sentences and formal relations between clauses or sentences in sequences: ordering, primacy, pronominal relations, active-passive voice, nominalizations and a host of other formal properties of sentences and sequences" (van Dijk, 107)
“need a historical, cultural, socio-economic, philosophical, logical, or neurological approach, depending on what one wants to know” (van Dijk 97)

“discourse moves back and forth between reflecting and constructing the social world” (Rogers et. al 369)
an interaction meant to share information or ideas
written text
taking turns
facial expressions
tone of voice
the bits of language that make up a communicative event
“knowledge [and its linguistic expression] is not a matter of getting an accurate picture of reality, but of learning how to contend with the world in the pursuit of our various purposes”
(Barker and Galasiñski 3)

what we say and how we say it depends on who is speaking to whom, when and where, and with what purposes
a study of the language structures
(Fairclough 59)
“In print media, demarcation lines between texts are easily drawn and provide clear guidance for corpus compilation. Most hypertext, by contrast, is ‘borderless,’ not only with respect to beginnings and ends but also, through clickable links, at the ‘sides’” (Mautner 819).
Incomplete or lack of relevant knowledge – so that no counter-arguments can be formulated against false, incomplete or biased assertions.

Fundamental norms, values and ideologies that cannot be denied or ignored.

Strong emotions, traumas, etc. that make people vulnerable

Social positions, professions, status, etc. that induce people into tending to accept the discourses, arguments, etc. of elite persons, groups, or organizations.
Extreme discrepancies in power relations can be identified by the use of
(van Dijk, "Discourse and Manipulation" 375)
Between tailoring of results and manipulation of text presented, Google may be presenting a search result that is “incomplete or lack[s] relevant knowledge – so that no counter arguments can be formulated against false, incomplete, or biased assertions.” (van Dijk "Discourse and Manipulation" 375).
Covert manipulation of access to information means that “fundamental norms, values and ideologies” that go into the algorithms tailoring results “cannot be denied or ignored” (van Dijk "Discourse and Manipulation" 375) by users.
The long-standing existence of the most popular search engines along with the highly specialized knowledge required to understand the process “induce[s] people into tending to accept the discourses, and arguments of elite persons and organizations” (van Dijk "Discourse and Manipulation" 375).
By demonstrating to individuals at every search the vastness of the Web, “emotions […] that make people vulnerable” (van Dijk "Discourse and Manipulation" 375) are drawn into each encounter with the digital world.
Positive aspects of CDA online
economic access to a large corpus populated with a multiplicity of voices, including the every-person.
research frames which are specific in their lens but broad in their inclusion of text
automated tagging software to reduce human error
Works Cited
Framing the digital
the critical lens
Barker, Chris, and Dariusz Galasiñski. Cultural Studies and Discourse Analysis: A Dialogue on Discourse and Identity. London: Sage Publications, 2001. E-book.
Fairclough, Norman. Media Discourse. London: Edward Arnold, 1995. E-book.
Gee, James. “Discourse Analysis: What Makes it Critical?” An Introduction to Critical Discourse Analysis in Education. Ed. Rebecca Rogers. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004. E-book.
Mautner, Gerlinde. “Time to Get Wired: Using Web-Based Corpora in Critical Discourse Analysis.” Discourse Society. 16: (2005): 809-828. Web. 12 Dec. 2011.
Pariser, Eli. (Presenter). “Beware Online “Filter Bubbles”.” TED Podcast. (2011). Web. 15 Oct. 2011.
Rogers, Rebecca. An Introduction to Critical Discourse Analysis in Education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004. E-book.
Rogers, Rebecca, Elizabeth Malancharuvil-Berkes, Melissa Mosley, Diane Hui and Glynis O’Garro Joseph. “Critical Discourse Analysis in Education: A Review of the Literature.” Review of Educational Research. 70: (2005): 365-416. Web. 12 Dec. 2011.
van Dijk, Teun A. “Multidisciplinary CDA: A Plea for Diversity.” Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. Ed. Ruth Wodak and Michael Meyer. London: Sage, 2001. E-book.
van Dijk, Teun A. “Discourse and Manipulation.” Discourse and Society. 17(2): (2006): 359-383. Web. 10 Mar. 2013.
Wesch, Michael. “YouTube and You: Experiences of Self-Awareness in the Context Collapse of the Recording Webcam.” EME. 8.2 (2009): 19-34. Web. 12 Nov. 2011.
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