Newcastle Critical Discourse Group

Past Programmes

SEMESTER 2 - 2017/18

February 14th

Sarah Hill, Newcastle University

Exploring Disabled Girlhood Through Online Self-representation

ArmB 3.39 1600-1800


March 14th

Ruth Page, University of Birmingham

Collective Identity, Multimodality and Snapchat Live Stories

ARMB 2.09 1600-1800


May 2nd

Chris Roberts, University of Roehampton

'Media Discourse and the ‘common sense’ newsframing of the financial crisis

ARMB 3.39 1600-1800


Abstracts

Sarah Hill

Exploring Disabled Girlhood through Online Self-representation

A growing body of work situates girls’ online self-representation practices within postfeminist discourses of girlhood (Shields Dobson, 2015). However, disabled girls are largely absent from existing work, just as they are often missing from the wider postfeminist media culture, which constructs white, middle-class, able-bodied femininity as the normative ideal. In examining disabled girls’ self-representation practices, this paper aims to contribute to rectifying this absence while also subverting the commonly held notion that girls’ self-representation practices are risky and trivial by demonstrating how these self-representation practices work to elevate the voices of disabled girls within the contemporary mediascape through a ‘politics of visibility’ (Tembeck, 2016: 8), as demonstrated through recent gendered social media campaigns such as #HospitalGlam and #DisabledandCute.

I will explore how disabled girls and young women represent themselves online through a case study of a severely sight impaired blogger, paying particular attention to how they navigate postfeminist discourses through their self-representation practices. Specifically, I argue that in order to be afforded visibility, these disabled girls must present themselves as simultaneously motivated and motivational subjects who ultimately shore up the principles of “neoliberal inclusionism” (Mitchell and Snyder, 2015). 

Bio

Sarah Hill is an Early Career Academic Fellow in Media, Culture, Heritage at Newcastle University. She is currently researching disabled girls’ online self-representation practices and her work has appeared in the journal Girlhood Studies. She is also writing her monograph – Young Women in Contemporary Cinema: Gender and Postfeminism in British Film – for I.B. Tauris, which is based on her doctoral research.

Ruth Page

Collective Identity, Multimodality and Snapchat Live Stories

This paper explores the multimodal construction of collective identity in Snapchat live stories.  Live stories are sequences of 10 second video clips recorded through a mobile phone, which are collated by Snap Chat’s team and made publically for 24 hours before being removed from view. The data reported here is a sample of 26 stories (a total of 877 snaps), taken from a larger set of 130 live stories, observed between June 2016 and June 2017, and covers stories about sports events, festivals, concerts and protests. In this paper, we propose a new framework for collective identity, derived from Zappavigna’s (2016) work on individual subjectivity in social photography, arguing that collective identity can be represented, inferred or implied.  This framework refines van Leeuwen’s (2008) distinction between individualisation and assimilation as options for social actors, especially as this sheds light on the emerging genres of the selfie and group selfie. Recognising the highly contextualised interpretation of collective identity, the methods we use address concerns about the subjective nature of multimodal critical discourse analysis (Machin and Mayr, 2012) by providing a stepwise process for annotating audio-visual data that incorporates inter coder reliability tests as a theory-building practice. The results of the analysis are used to explore the forms of citizen journalistic documentation found in Snapchat, and to show how collective identity can be construed positively or negatively, depending on the topic of the story.

Bio

Ruth Page is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham.

Chris Roberts

'Media Discourse and the ‘common sense’ newsframing of the financial crisis.

This paper is oriented around the notion that the financial crisis and the subsequent austerity policies have been effectively [re]framed in such a way as to render alternatives and alternative narratives almost impossible to produce. Normative assumptions - what Mark Fisher calls ‘Capitalist Realism’ [2009] – are dominant or almost the only frames of reference for narrating the crisis and ‘solutions’ to said crisis. The question will be posed that, restricted as it is by various normative news values; aesthetics; source relations; resource and time pressures it is in fact not possible to effectively “tell the story” of the financial crisis and its aftermath within the narrow discourses of media and journalism.

This work-in-progress paper seeks to develop a systemic and systematic frame and mode of analysis regarding the media’s narration and explanation of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), and the austerity discourse that followed. The paper will examine the ways in which said reporting establishes a mode of address, and establishes a frame through which the crisis was and is understood. Most acute for this paper is the rhetoric, the discourse, the linguistic and lexical choices and the impact this has on the epistemology of the UK political economy. The paper will argue and demand that a wider range of sources, discursive features, and solutions are proposed, and that said solutions or proposals are beyond and not restricted to neoliberal “solutions” to the crisis of its own making.

Bio

Chris Roberts is Senior Lecturer in Journalism, Media and Culture at the University of Roehampton.

 

SEMESTER 1 - 2017/18

October 25th

John E Richardson, Loughborough University

The Imagined Community: ‘Britain’ and ‘British’ in British fascist discourse

ARMB 3.39 1600-1800

 

November 29th

Lyndon C.S. Way

 From concert to on-line musings: The transformative nature of political discourse in popular music performance and consumption

ARMB 3.39 1600-1800

 

December 13th

 Amir Saeed

The Influence of the Nation of Islam and Islam on British-Muslim Ex-offenders.

Malcolm, Muhammad and Redemption.

 ARMB 3.39 1600-1800

 

 

 ABSTRACTS

John E Richardson, Loughborough University

The Imagined Community: ‘Britain’ and ‘British’ in British fascist discourse

Since the publication of Anderson (1983/2006), many have taken it as axiomatic that the nation is “an imagined political community” (p.6).  In addition, a nationalist will imagine their nation as simultaneously archaic and eternal; as always have been and always will be. Continuity of ‘the nation’ is central to this nationalist imaginary – preserving the timeless qualities that are assumed to make Us Us.


A cursory glance at the names of British fascist political parties since the 1920s indicates just how central the words Britain and British are to the British extreme-right. But what (or who) do they mean by ‘the British’? And what kinds of ideas and arguments are used by British fascists to define and demarcate Us from Them? These are the questions that I aim to address in my talk.

 

 

 

 

Lyndon C.S. Way

From concert to on-line musings: The transformative nature of political discourse in popular music performance and consumption

Relations between popular music and political discourses are fraught with uncertainty, views ranging from the highly optimistic to those which are far more limited. It is an under-examined area in discourse analysis, though there are notable exceptions (van Leeuwen 1999; Machin 2010; Way and McKerrell 2017). Here, I extend this area of research by examining a recording of a concert and its accompanying comments on Youtube by the politically active band “Grup Yorum”. Firstly, leaning on Multimodal Discourse Studies, I analyse how the concert multimodally articulates progressive political discourses such as egalitarianism, Kurdish rights, workers’ rights and the injustices of unbridled capitalism through not only lyrics, musical sounds and visuals, but also speeches, guests, song selection and dance. This analysis also reveals the limits of this particular performance and performance in general. I then analyse a sample of comments which accompany the video to reveal “the interpretative resources and practices” of fans (Fairclough 1995: 16). I find that comments do not deal with the actual events represented in the video but personalise these and seek to frame these in terms of wider forms of allegiances to, and betrayal of, a true national people and in the light of homogenised and reduced forms of history.

 

References

 

Machin, D. (2010), Analysing Popular Music, London: Sage.

Van Leeuwen, T. (1999), Speech, Music, Sound, London: Macmillan Press.

Way, L. and McKerrell, S. (eds) (2017) Music as Multimodal Discourse: Media, power and Protest, London & New York: Bloomsbury.

 

 

 

 Amir Saeed

The Influence of the Nation of Islam and Islam on British-Muslim Ex-offenders.

Malcolm, Muhammad and Redemption.

 

The Nation of Islam’s appeal and recognition has transcended the boundaries of ‘race’ and national borders (Egg 1998, Gardell, 1996). Just as the Civil Rights and Black consciousness movements have inspired human rights activists around the world the Nation Of Islam’s rhetoric has been a motivating symbol for many non white and minority communities across the globe. (Marqusee,1999, 1995). Malcolm X’s and Muhammad Ali’s images are increasingly employed in contemporary youth culture (Saeed, 2013).

This article examines why the NOI has been such a key figure and for many non-white communities and especially the Muslim and South -Asian Diaspora in the UK (Saeed, 2003). This argument is based upon empirical work conducted with British-Pakistani ex offenders who trained in a gym in the North of England. This work was funded through a grant received by a Mosque in North of England that wanted to address the issues of an ever-increasing Muslim presence in UK prisons.

The offenders specifically spoke with pride of how Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and the NOI in general provided them with the impetus for exploring Islam and raising self. The participants were well aware that the NOI theology was not strictly Islamic (Dyson, 1995). However they argued given the NOI’s prominence in youth culture, especially hip-hop and sport (Saeed, 2013), it provided an influential role in influencing young British Muslims.

Given the anti-Muslim rhetoric espoused by leading social commentators following 9/11 (Saeed, 2007), the NOI’S appeal and message of social justice seems more relevant than ever. Recent anti-war demonstrations in the UK saw Malcolm X’s image employed by young British-Muslims demonstrating what they perceived as social injustice being committed to Muslims around the world in the name of fighting terrorism (Saeed, 2011a, b, 2004, 2003).

In order to do this the article highlights historical developments in Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali’s careers that helped make them symbols of anti-racism and the personification of an assertive black consciousness (Van De Burgh,1992; Lincoln, 1994).

These historical developments are further linked to the issue of identity politics. Thus terms like 'black' and ' Muslim' (Modood, 1994) are explored in relation to NOI and their appeal in particular to British-Asian Muslim communities.

 

References

 

Dyson, M. (1995) Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X. New York: Oxford University Press

Egg, C (1998) An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad New York: ST Martins Press 3rd edition

Gardell, M. (1996).In the name of Elijah Muhammad: Louis Farrakhan and the

Nation of Islam. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Lincoln, C E (1994) Black Muslims in America Grand Rapids Michigan: Wm .B Eardmans Publishing 3rd edition

Van Deburgh, W. (1992) New Day in Babylon: The Black Power Movement and American Culture1965-1975. Chicago: Chicagao University Press

Modood, T (1994) Changing Ethnic Identities.  London: PSI

Saeed, A. (2003) “ ‘What’s in a name’ Muhammad Ali and the Politics of Cultural Identity Culture, Sport and Society Vol 5 Number 3 pp51-72

Saeed, A. (2004) “9/11 and British Muslims” in Carter J and Morland D 2004 Anti-Capitalist Britain Manchester, New Clarion Press

Saeed, A (2007) 'Media, Racism and Islamophobia: The Representation of Islam and Muslims in the Media', Sociology Compass (1) (2007) (available at http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1751-9020.2007.00039.x)



Saeed, A (2011a) "Worthy of all praises": Muhammad Ali, and the politics of Muslim identity', Soundings, 47


Saeed, A (2011b) '9/11 and the Increase in Racism and Islamophobia: A Personal Reflection', Radical History Review, pp. 210-215

Saeed, A (2013) Hip-Hop Islam and Woman in Postcolonial Islam edited by Sarah Hackett Routledge Press, 2013

 

SEMESTER 2 - 2016/17    Newcastle University

8th February 2017

4pm

ARMB 2.90  

Tina Sikka (Newcastle University)

Power, language and the discursive construction of Geoengineering and Superfoods

8th March

4pm

ARMB 2.90  

Alastair Cole (Newcastle University)

Language ideologies in multilingual Zambia: research through ethnography and documentary film practice.

 

26th April 2017

4pm

ARMB 2.90  

Massimo Ragnedda (Northumbria University)

The Third Digital Divide: A Weberian approach to rethinking digital inequalities

24th May 2017

4pm

ARMB 2.90  

PhD symposium – Details TBC.  

 



ABSTRACTS

Tina Sikka

Power, language and the discursive construction of Geoengineering and Superfoods

In this talk I discuss two different papers in which critical discourse analysis is drawn to examine seemingly unrelated technologies: geoengineering and superfoods. The connection between the two is CDA, which is drawn on to examine how language, as a social practice, is implicated in relations of power with significant material consequences.

I begin by examining the discursive field of geoengineering by unpacking how particular members, associates and academics allied with private institutes frame, treat and discursively construct a justification of geoengineering technologies. I begin with a brief introduction to geoengineering, followed by a discussion of relevant international agreements and an overview of critical discourse analysis. I outline several discursive strategies employed by scientific and political advocates of geoengineering to reify a particular understanding of its need. While there are multiple ways geoengineering is framed by a wide variety of actors, I discuss the framings of the market and exceptionalism made by The American Enterprise Institute, The Climate Response Fund and The Climate Institute in detail which I then supplement by some additional material where appropriate.

I then turn to superfoods. I argue that the contemporary superfood movement, which is currently embraced by a strata of the financially well off in North America and Western Europe, is not socially, politically, or economically progressive. I also argue this movement fails in its stated objective to change the quality of our food, transform the consolidated food production system, and improve the state of public health. Rather, I contend that superfood companies like Navitas Naturals, Naturya, and Raw Revolution, through a variety of discursive strategies, work to visually and linguistically construct their products as progressive in order to mask an underlying reliance on neoliberal business practices, nutritionism, and gendered stereotypes.  They also rely on the harnessing of discursive strategies in order to build a kind of tribe or cult-like social identity around the sustained consumption of superfoods. In supporting this position, I begin with a description of what superfoods are, how they differ from functional foods, and provide a brief background into the companies taken up in this piece. I then discuss critical discourse analysis (CDA), which I then use to unpack the ways in which neoliberalism, nutritionism, and gender bias function in superfood discourse with specific attention paid to how these food products are advertised.



Alastair Cole

Language ideologies in multilingual Zambia: research through ethnography and documentary film practice.

The presentation will discuss the nature of the language ideologies present in the multilingual contexts of primary education and rural life in Zambia, a country with 72 language, but only one official language - English, spoken at home by less than 2% of the country. Through a combination of ethnography and documentary film practice the research project reveals specific hierarchies of language valuation within the community under study, and resulted in the feature documentary film Colours of the Alphabet (Screening at Tyneside Cinema February 7th 2017). The project brings into focus the experiences of one grade one class, their teacher, and the surrounding Soli speaking community of Lwimba over the course of one year. The presentation will present the linguistic anthropological context of the research, and highlight how the language events within the classroom and community revealed processes of language valuation which lead to distinct multilingual hierarchical structures, which were also seen to be initiated, and reproduced in the grade one class. Through the major output medium of documentary film, the project also aims to open up a broader public conversation about access the lack of access to mother-tongue education globally, which affects 40% of the worlds population. Finally, the presentation will discuss how this film based approach also permitted further parallel research into practice based elements including indigenous language translation and multilingual subtitling (see www.coloursofthealphabet.com for more).

 

Massimo Ragnedda

The Third Digital Divide: A Weberian approach to rethinking digital inequalities

Drawing on the thoughts of Max Weber, in particular his theory of stratification, the talk engages with the question of whether the digital divide simply extends traditional forms of inequality, or whether it also includes new forms of social exclusion, or perhaps manifests counter-trends that alleviate traditional inequalities whilst constituting new modalities of inequality. With attention to the manner in which social stratification in the digital age is reproduced and transformed online, the author develops an account of stratification as it exists in the digital sphere, advancing the position that, just as in the social sphere, inequalities in the online world go beyond the economic elements of inequality. As such, study of the digital divide should focus not simply on class dynamics or economic matters, but cultural aspects - such as status or prestige - and political aspects - such as group affiliations. Demonstrating the enduring relevance of Weber’s distinctions with regard to social inequality, The Third Digital Divide: A Weberian approach to rethinking digital inequalities explores the ways in which online activities and digital skills vary according to crucial sociological dimensions, explaining these in concrete terms in relation to the dynamics of social class, social status and power.

 

Semester 1, 2016-17

Semester 1 - Newcastle University

12th October 2016

4pm, ARMB.3.38

Shani Burke (Loughborough University)

"Burn all the scum bags in one large oven”: The Construction of ‘reusing’ concentration camps on Facebook

16th November 2016

4pm ARMB.3.38

Chris Hart (Lancaster University)

Bridging boundaries between linguistic and visual critical discourse analysis

 

7th December

4pm, ARMB.3.38

Florian Zollmann (Newcastle University)

Power, Discourse and Intervention: Selective Shaming of Human Rights Violations in the International Press

Semester 2 2015-16

Semester 2 - Newcastle University

24th February 2016

4pm, ARMB.3.38

Mark Deuze (University of Amsterdam)

Media Life

2nd March 2016

4pm ARMB.3.38

Benjamin De Cleen (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

The articulation of nationalism, populism and conservatism in populist radical right rhetoric: a discourse-theoretical perspective

13th April 2016

4pm, ARMB.3.38

Alllaina Kilby (Cardiff University)

Satire for Sanity: An examination of media representation & audience engagement with The Daily Show’s Rally to Restore Sanity

4th May 2016

4pm, ARMB. 3.38

Guest speaker: Carolyn Pedwell (Kent university), panelists: Darren Kelsey, James Ash, Majid KhosraviNik (Newcastle University)

How do you feel about affect? A roundtable discussion on affect theory and discourse studies

18th May 2016

11:00-17:00

KGVI.LT1

PhD Symposium

Research presentations


Sem 1, 2015-16

Semester 1 - Newcastle University

21st October 2015

4pm, ARMB.3.41

Joss Hands (Newcastle University)

Digital Media and the Trajectory of Networked Activism

18th November2015

4pm ARMB.3.41

Christopher Whitehead (Newcastle University) & Gönül Bozoğlu (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)

Heritage Discourse and Histories of Place in the 2013 Taksim-Gezi Protests

9th December 2015

4pm, ARMB.3.41

Andrew Irving – Documentary Maker

Realising Arthur: Trail-blazing the Meridian Line - a forgotten legacy

Sem 2, 2014-15

Semester 2 - Newcastle University

11th February2015

4pm, ARMB.2.16

Nelya Koteyko (Queen Mary University of London)

Personalising diabetes: Organisational messages on diabetes Facebook pages

11thMarch2015

2-5pm ARMB.3.38

PhD Workshop

Issues with data: data gathering, analysis and interpretation

8thApril2015

4pm, ARMB.3.38

Paolo Gerbaudo (King's College London)

Analysing political conversations on social media with discourse analysis: Theoretical and methodological implications

6th May2015

4pm, ARMB. 3.38

Richard Thomas (Cardiff University)

From executive renumeration to Living Wage: Pre and post-crisis discourses of Income Distribution on UK Television news

13th May 2015

12-5 pm PERB. G.05

PhD Symposium

Research presentations

 

Semester 1,2014-2015

Semester 1 - Newcastle University

8th October 2014

4pm, ARMB.3.38

David Kaposi (University of East London)

Violence and Understanding in Gaza: Methodological implications of studying the British broadsheets’ coverage of “Operation Cast Lead”

12th November 2014

4pm, ARMB.3.38

Catherine Walsh (Newcastle University)

Socio-economic History Read through Rhetorics

10th December 2014

4pm, ARMB.3.38

Joe Cable (Cardiff University)

Protest in action: An examination of the creation and exploitation of media and political opportunities of three different protest groups

 

Semester 1 - 2013-14 Newcastle University

4th October,3pm

Room G.05, Percy Building, Newcastle University

Ruth Wodak (Lancaster University)

National Identity, Citizenship and Migration: A Critical Discourse-Analytical Perspective

13th November, 4pm

CETL, Armstrong Building, Newcastle University

Laura Costelloe (University of Limerick)

A Corpus-Assisted Discourse Analysis of Representations of Young People (Les Jeunes) in Newspaper Discourses on French Urban Violence in 2005

4th December, 4pm

Room 1.06, Armstrong Building, Newcasatle University

Costas Gabrielatos (Edge Hill University)

A Corpus Approach to the Representation of Islam and Muslims in the UK Press

Semester 2 - Newcastle University

 

Wednesday 26th February 2014 , 3pm

Room 3.38, Armstrong Building
Newcastle University

Simon McKerrell (Newcastle University)

Music and the body in multimodal semiotics

 

Tuesday 1st, April 2014, 4pm

Room Percy Buidling G.13
Newcastle University

Christian Fuchs (University of Westminster)

Social media and digital labour

 

Wednesday, 11th June, 2014, 3pm

Room 2.75 (MACS) Armstrong Building
Newcastle University

CDA PhD Workshop

 
       

2011-12

Semester 1- 2011-2012 Newcastle University

19th October, 4pm

Bedson Teaching Centre, Room B30,

Newcastle University (Map)

Dalia Gavriely-Nuri (Bar-Ilan University)

War normalizing discourse: The Israeli case

7th December, 4pm

Limpan Building, Room 334

Northumbria University (Map)

John Richardson (Newcastle University)

Lies and the lying liars that tell them: The role of racial populism in British fascist discourse

 

Semester 2

22nd February, 4pm

Armstrong Building, Room 2.09

Newcastle University (Map)

Muhammad Jameel Yusha'u (Northumbria University)

Extremism or terrorism:Communicating Islamophibia on Youtube in the Norwegian attack

25th April, 4pm

Lipman Building, Room 035

Northumbria University (Map)

David Machin (Cardiff University)

Corporate crime and the discursive deletion of responsibility: A multimodal case study

 

Abstracts

Critical Discourse Analysis and New Media (Digial) Discourses: Issues and Debates

Majid KhosraviNik (Northumbria University)

Critical Discourse Analysis has arguably been interested in traditional and mass media discourses as sites where discursive power is re/constructed and re/defined. Plethora of research in CDA investigates issues around language and identity, discrimination, and Self/Other representation in discourses of press, TV news, talk shows, speeches, textbooks etc. Despite rapid changes in communication technologies and practices, CDA studies on electronic language-in-use have not (yet) attracted ample and deserving attention (Mautner 2005) for a variety of reasons including -but not limited to- logistic difficulties in systematic data collection and selection, lack of leading research, and more importantly under-theorisation of communication and linguistic processes in the context of New media. In the meantime New dynamics of discourse-society interaction brought about by New electronic technologies e.g. the internet has challenged some of the grounding theoretical notions in communication studies and in effect CDA e.g. the ‘mass’-ness of the media, representation, discursive power, gatekeeping, audiences etc.

The paper aims to contribute to the scholarship in discourse analysis and interdisciplinary research on online discourses by following the broad principles advocated for critical approaches to language studies (Fairclough and Wodak 1997, Wodak and Meyers 2009, Blommaert 2005). It is argued that electronic discourses can and should be theorised within notions such as representation, power relations and public sphere which are frequently discussed in CDA scholarship. It is argued that through unique affordances offered by new communication technologies a wealth of (sometimes unique) linguistic data has automatically been compiled which would otherwise be impossible or difficult to access. While official discourses e.g. official newspapers, TV news, magazines, speeches, manifestos etc. have been an obvious (and necessary) targets in CDA, studies on bottom-up social attitudes have always required a well-designed/invested research apparatus e.g. systematic field work, focus groups, interviews etc. Notwithstanding the issues regarding online vs. offline spaces generalizability, norms of interactions, and privacy, these electronic communication platforms can offer some rich data sources for various research interests traditionally pursued by Critical Discourse Studies.

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The Oxygen of Publicity and the Suffocation of Censorship: British Newspaper Representations of the Broadcasting Ban (1988-1994)

Max Pettigrew (Bath Spa University)

The role of journalists in the propaganda war during the Northern Ireland conflict is scrutinised to discover the extent to which media workers in the British print media supported and resisted British government direct censorship against the British broadcast media. Using CDA, the discursive composition of broadcasting ban newspaper articles are analysed to reveal the discourses supporting and opposing the censorship that were circulating in the House of Commons as well as British newspapers and non-elite spheres of society when the British government introduced and lifted the broadcasting ban.A combination of textual analysis techniques are used to explain how these discourses functioned to build support and opposition to the ban, how journalists represented social actors expressing these discourses and how they were refracted by journalists through reported speech.

After analysing British newspaper representations of the broadcasting ban, discursive and social practices impacting British journalists during the periods the British government introduced and lifted the ban are considered.An important conclusion is that British journalists largely perpetuated discourses supporting the broadcasting ban. However, this is explained by the allegiances of newspaper owners and editors with the Conservative Party, the generic conventions of newspapers and articles, the reliance of journalists on elite sources, the weakness of media workers after Wapping and the decades of pressure on media workers to report the Northern Ireland conflict in line with the British government perspective, rather than because journalists embraced British government censorship of the British mass media.

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Ideological Presuppositions in Greek Women’s Lifestyle Magazines: Transitional Heteronormativity and Sexual Health

Alexandra Polyzou (Lancaster University)

This paper has as a starting point the question why, since all human beings have the capacity to be critical, manipulation succeeds and hegemonies are established with the consent of even social groups harmed by them (Chilton, 2005). I maintain that it is the interplay of crucial historical, economic and socio-political with cognitive (including affective) factors which provides a fuller picture of the workings of ideology in discourse (also ibid.), and that Cognitive Linguistics provide valuable tools to this end.

Here I apply Fauconnier’s theory of Mental Spaces (1985) to advice texts on sexual health from Greek women’s magazines, looking at presupposition, speech and thought presentation and causal, temporal and conditional relations. Although the theory has been developed and applied on sentences occurring naturally in discourse (e.g. Dancygier and Sweetser, 2005), it has not been applied so far to analysis of whole texts, and with the purpose of accounting for their ideological functions.

The analysis examines how ideological beliefs are set as background to more salient information. Ideological underpinnings of the texts are presented as given and incontestable (presuppositions), or allow contestation, but only with considerable cognitive effort. Lifestyle magazines in particular seem to address a ‘life-stage’ I have termed ‘transitional heternormativity’, a phase of relative freedom which nevertheless is supposed to lead to the heteronormative ideal of the social context in which it occurs. The discourse of sexual health in the data pre-supposes accepting the authority of the magazine itself as source of guidance and information, the ‘post-feminist’ prescription of sexual practices (cf. Gill, 2009), and the exclusion of non-hegemonic sexualities.

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Panic on the Streets of London: Morality and Class in Contradictory Discourses of the Right Wing Press during the 2011 England Riots

Darren Kelsey (Newcastle University)

On 4th August 2011 a 29 year old black male was shot dead by police in Tottenham. On 6th August a peaceful protest took place in Tottenham against the shooting. When police in Tottenham attempted to disperse the protest violent clashes occurred as large groups also responded by setting fire to police and public properties. From the 7th August onwards, these acts of violence and civil disobedience spread across London and other cities in England with riots and looting taking place in sixty-six locations. Whilst these were not clear instances of protest violence following the events in Tottenham, they were clearly reactions mobilised by the riots that started a day earlier. Lasting until 10th August, 5 people died in the riots, which are estimated to have involved up to 15,000 people and cost the country up to half a billion pounds (Bridges, 2012:2).
Initial responses to the riots sought to explain why they were happening. Subsequently, complex discourses began to develop through oppositional arguments seeking to identify who was responsible and why. This paper examines how the right wing press sought to suppress “liberal” voices blaming issues of social deprivation, anger and austerity by arguing that the backgrounds and profiles of rioters actually transcended the class system. However, the right wing press also contradicted this position in other discourses that supported Conservative welfare and benefit reforms in response to the riots, whilst reverting and blaming social groups they had initially exempt from direct responsibility in opposition to “liberal” arguments.

As I show, contentions between constructions of social class, morality, who the “mob” consisted of (demographically), and who we mean when we refer to a “sick society” mobilised a battle field of ideological constructions. As my previous work has demonstrated (Kelsey, 2012) Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) can explore ideological complexities, discursive contradictions and paradoxical persuasions whilst remaining critical it its approach. This paper does not attempt to propose one, fixed answer for why the riots happened or who was to blame. But it is essential for discourse analysts to acknowledge, understand and scrutinise those representations that, on the one hand, might appear to be critically progressive but, whilst considered in context, can be scrutinised in terms of deeper ideological nuances that are less obvious or might be overlooked if considered out of context.

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“All that Dark Material”: A Corpus-based Analysis of Representations of Muslim Women in the British Press

Paul Baker (Lancaster University)

This talk examines the representation of Muslim women who wear veils in the British press. 143 million words, consisting of 200,000 articles about Muslims in the national UK press between 1998 and 2009 were collected and examined using corpus linguistics techniques which aimed to identify frequent patterns of language use. The term "Muslim women" was highly frequent in the corpus (and more frequent than "Muslim men") and Muslim women tended to be written about most in terms of veiling. I examined the extent to which Muslim women were positioned as being forced to wear the veil, whether they demanded to wear it, or whether it was viewed as a choice or a right. I looked at different types of arguments that journalists used against the veil, as well as metaphors that were used to describe veil-wearing women. The analysis suggests a disapproving yet conflicted stance across the UK press, and also raises questions about how analysts can claim that the press is negatively biased.

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Strategies Used by the Far-Right in Opposing Multiculturalism and Denying Racism

Simon Goodman (Coventry University)

This paper examines the talk of the leader of a far-right party following an increase in the party’s polling and controversial high profile appearances on the BBC. The analysis addresses the rhetorical strategies employed to justify the party’s contentious far-right policies. A corpus of three BBC interviews was generated during a period of relative electoral success and increased interest in the party (2009-2010). The results of two analyses will be presented.

1. The first shows how the party leader uses two interconnected strategies of (1) presenting ‘indigenous British’ people as the victims, rather than the perpetrators, of racism, and (2) blaming this racism not on outside groups, but on an ill-defined 'ruling elite'. It is argued that these two strategies are not distinct and together function in an attempt to present both the party and its leader not as racist aggressors, but respondents to anti-white racism. As blame is directed to an abstract ‘elite’, rather than minority ethnic groups, the strategy responds to accusations of racism, while attacking multiculturalism. Similarities with this rhetoric and that of the far-right terrorist Anders Breivik, and the lack of orientation to this ‘elite’ by others present in the discussion are discussed.

2. The second shows three strategies that were used to attempt to present the party as reasonable and non-racist. They are that the party is presented as (1) acting as a moderating force, (2) acting in minority groups’ best interests, and (3) only opposing minority groups because of their own prejudices. The implications of the use of these strategies are discussed and the limitations of these arguments are identified.

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Extremism or terrorism: Communicating Islamophobia on Youtube in the Norwegian attack

Muhammad Jameel Yusha'u (Northumbria University)

On 22ndJuly 2011, Norway woke up with range of attacks that left many innocent people dead, and thousands severely wounded. Earlier reports from the media including CNN, NBC and other networks suggested that the attack might be the work of Al-Qaida. Pundits started making analysis about “Islamic terrorism”, but it emerged later that the main suspect behind the attack was a Norwegian national, Anders Behring Breivik. Reports suggested that Anders Breivik is linked with Christian fundamentalist groups that are against immigration in Norway. This paper will study the coverage of the Norwegian attack as reported by NBC, CNN, BBC and PJTV by analysing the reports breaking the story on the attack available on YouTube. As a social networking site, these reports were followed by comments from visitors who make various assertions about the attack. Within the context of islamophobia, the paper will analyse the discourses of the YouTube clips of the media organisations selected. While reports on the traditional satellite channels reach wide ranging audiences, the clips of the report on youtube create a sense of ‘permanence’, because users can search for them at anytime. The impression that is created in the mind of those who use social networking sites as their main source of information could have consequences on the way Islam and Muslims are viewed.This paper therefore will answer the following questions: how did the mainstream media break the story of the attack by Anders Breivik? What kind of anti-Muslim rhetoric do users make about Islam and Muslims on YouTube?How is the attack by Anders Breivik represented in the user comments? Why do the media represent Anders Breivik as an extremist rather than terrorist?

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Corporate crime and the discursive deletion of responsibility: A multimodal case study

David Machin (Cardiff University)

There has not been such extensive work on media representations of crime in Critical Discourse Analysis, especially on corporate crime. Taking one step to address this situation this presentation assesses the unfolding press representations of one instance where corporate neglect and greed in Britain lead to the deaths of 31 people and the injury of 400 others with horrific burns. The law was in fact changed as a result, although remained as ineffective. This analysis shows how the events were framed in the first place through a discourse of natural disaster with the associated stages of news reporting. It then shows how issues of agency, responsibility and consequences are all represented for the most part through abstraction. All this adds up to an eliding of the criminal nature of these events which also dilute the pressure to genuinely change the law to address corporate crime.

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War normalizing discourse: The Israeli case

Dalia Gavriely-Nuri (Bar-Ilan University)

My first motivation in this lecture is to describe life in the shadow of repetitive wars from the perspective of an Israeli citizen. I would like to explain the tension between 'normal life' and living under endless shade of a concrete or potential war.More specifically, this lecture raises two questions:

  • What is the role of the Israeli war discourse in the situation of repetitive wars?
  • Can we point to linguistic and discursive mechanisms that are typical to the Israeli war discourse and maybe to other war discourses?

My lecture will concentrate on one special mechanism, what I call a 'war normalizing discourse'. War normalizing discourse is a set of linguistic, discursive and cultural devices aimed at blurring the anomalous character of war by transforming it into an event perceived as something "natural" or a "normal" part of ordinary life. Under the general framework of War-Normalizing Discourse, four analytical tools are defined: Euphemization, Naturalization, Justification and Symbolic Annihilation.

The lecture demonstrates various appearances (verbal and visual) of the War Normalizing Discourse, including: the representation of Wounded soldiers in the Israeli Television; War Metaphors; and Names of military practices. It also focuses on the normalization of the Occupation.

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Lies and the lying liars that tell them: The role of racial populism in British fascist discourse

John Richardson (Newcastle University)

A constant dilemma for fascists since 1945, in Britain like elsewhere across Europe, has been the extent to which they should be open and honest in their propaganda about what they actually stand for. Understandably, the Nazi industrialization of mass murder during the Second World War meant that there was little electoral cache in labelling your party, or movement, ‘fascist’. This basic fact of political history has meant that there are two discursive strategies open to parties and movements of the far- and extreme-right: dissociation from, or the rehabilitation of, Nazism (Sykes, 2005: 95).

My presentation will examine the discourses of the second party that called itself the British National Party (1960-67), and specifically texts published in its newspaper Combat. This newspaper is interesting for two reasons: first, it charts the development of British fascist discourse from an explicit articulation of antisemitic conspiracy theories to a strategy in which such ideological commitments were subsumed behind a veneer of racial populism. Second, the newspaper was edited by John Bean, who until last year edited the current BNP's magazine Identity. Analysing Combat may therefore also provide an intertextual insight into the electioneering of the current BNP.

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Music and the Body in Multimodal Semiotics

Simon McKerrell (Newcastle University)

Music is many things, but it is most definitely not a language. It is however, quite often experienced as powerful non-verbal communication that offers us heightened, intense and deeply felt meanings in our lives. As such, it is fundamental to any understanding of social semiotics, and therefore to the multimodal understanding of meaning construction in today’s increasingly multimedia societies. Musicological aesthetics has been a niche pursuit for decades, but recently, the convergence of neuro-cognitive science with pragmatist philosophy has led to a reconsideration of the role of embodied meaning in language and art (Shusterman 2012; Johnson 2007). In this paper I aim to outline some ideas that might begin to enhance homologous and binary multimodal analysis with a theoretical framework that begins from within the body, dependent upon the somatic bedrock of meaning to provide a basis for the analysis of music and sound within multimedia texts. Thus music is not referential, it is constitutive; fast music does not represent excitement, it induces it within us. Drawing upon Johnson’s (2007) framework of musical movement, I will argue that when we hear music and make meaning, we do so somatically within the body, by enacting several broad, unnuanced feelings, which are simultaneously semiotically nuanced by our own individual cultural experience. The prize is a much firmer intellectual and visceral foundation for multimodal analysis that relies upon our cultured bodies and insists on a shared set of basic immanent embodied meanings. In this way, I hope to move towards a more analytically robust theorization of music and multimodality which allows for the sorts of powerful and thickly semiotic sonic texts we experience today.

Johnson, Mark. 2007. The Meaning of the Body, Aesthetics of Human Understanding (Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press)

Shusterman, Richard. 2012. Thinking through the body, essays in somaesthetics (Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press)

 

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Social Media and Digital Labour

Christian Fuchs (University of Westminister)

In public and academic debates, journalism and management ideology, there is a lot of talk about the emergence of a qualitatively new Internet that is termed “social media” or “web 2.0”. In this talk I challenge such claims that go hand in hand with the ideas that we are experiencing the emergence of participatory culture and Facebook revolutions. I argue that deepening class relations are at the heart of contemporary capitalism and capitalist social media, that we need to engage with Karl Marx’s theory in order to understand society, inequality and the media landscape today, and that the transformation of paid into unpaid or lowly paid precarious labour is at the heart of the transformations of labour today. I situate the emergence of so-called commercial social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in the context of what can be termed digital labour – capital’s exploitation of users’ work. In order to understand digital labour, we need to see the global division of labour underlying it and the role that targeted advertising plays for the capital accumulation model of social media corporations. I conclude that we need to re-invent the Internet in order to establish truly social media.

Christian Fuchs is professor of social media at the University of Westminster’s Communication and Media Research Institute and the Centre for Social Media Resarch. He iseditor of tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique (http://www.triple-c.at) and chair of the European Sociological Association’s Research Network 18 – Sociology of Communications and Media Research. He is author of books such as “Social Media: A Critical Introduction” (2014), “Digital Labour and Karl Marx” (2014), “OccupyMedia! The Occupy Movement and Social Media in Crisis Capitalism” (2014), “Foundations of Critical Media and Information Studies” (2011), “Internet and Society. Social Theory in the Information Age” (2008). Website: http://fuchs.uti.at

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CDA PhD Workshop

Majid KhosraviNik, Darren Kelsey, Rachelle Vessey (Newcastle University)

All PhD students and colleagues with an interest in Critical Discourse Analysis are welcome. We will discuss individual research projects in terms of their research querstions, data, analytical methods and approaches. This will take place at Media and Cultural Studies section on second floor of Armstrong Building room 2.75.

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National Identity, Citizenship and Migration: A Critical Discourse-Analytical Perspective

Ruth Wodak (Lancaster University)

Inclusion and exclusion of migrants are renegotiated in the European Union on almost a daily scale: ever new policies defining and restricting immigration (usually from third world countries) are proposed by European member states. Thus, a return to ever more local policies and ideologies can be observed, on many levels: traditions, rules, languages, visions, and imaginaries are affected. I claim that we are currently experiencing a re/nationalisation in spite of (or perhaps because of) multiple globalising tendencies. Moreover, recent heated political debates across Europe, about citizenship, language tests related to citizenship and immigration, and the construction of the immigrant per se seem to coincide with the huge crisis of the welfare state. We are dealing with global and glocal developments (Wodak 2010, 2011). Post-nationalism (Heller 2011) and cosmopolitanism (Bauman 1999) have become utopian concepts.

In my paper, I will analyse recent developments in respect to immigration policies across Europe from a discourse-historical perspective: I focus on the discursive construction of national and transnational identities, on the analysis of citizenship- and language tests, and on the continuous reconstruction of national histories by frequently ‘re/inventing new narratives’. More specifically, I will focus on the discursive construction of the ‘real’ Austrian/British/Finn persona (and so forth) as a means for inclusion and exclusion from access to citizenship and democratic rights. I will juxtapose these new developments with some ‘voices of migrants’ (Delanty et al. 2011) which reflect ever new boundaries and challenge the new policies. The data - analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively - consist of a range of genres (focus group discussions, citizenship tests and language tests, party programmes, TV documentaries, and election campaign materials).

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A Corpus-Assisted Discourse Analysis of Representations of Young People (Les Jeunes) in Newspaper Discourse on French Urban Violence in 2005

Laura Costelloe (University of Limerick, Ireland)

November 2005 saw a significant flashpoint in the long-running history of tensions between minority groups and those in power in France. For three weeks there were widespread clashes throughout France between “les jeunes” (“young people”) and the forces of law and order. Mindful of the printed news media as important sites of ideology production (Fairclough, 1995), this study contributes to a growing body of work on newspaper representation of urban violence in the suburbs or banlieues, with focus on the particularly traumatic events of November 2005 (c.f. Moirand, 2010; Peeters, 2012; 2010; Sedel, 2009).

This paper explores the representation of young people in newspaper discourse on the 2005 riots and proposes that a distinction is implicitly drawn between les jeunes (des banlieues/des cités) and ‘other’ or ‘French’ young people. It begins by using Critical Discourse Analysis to examine a small but representative sample of texts (following Fairclough 1995; 1989), and considers the homogenisation and categorisation of suburban and immigrant youth. Following that, Corpus Linguistics techniques are used in the analysis of a corpus of 2,271 newspaper texts incorporating a variety of perspectives from the French printed news media (right/left, regional/national). Concordance, cluster and collocation analysis reveals that the noun jeunes carries particular connotations when used in the context of the riots, and les jeunes des banlieues/cités are repeatedly negatively characterised throughout the corpus of texts. The paper thus exposes the role played by the printed news media in consolidating negative clichés associated with the suburbs, and argues that the sustained use of the noun jeunes to signify immigrant and suburban youth who are linked to high unemployment rates and civil disturbances reinforces a prejudicial view of young people living in the banlieues.

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A Corpus Approach to the Representation of Islam and Muslims in the UK Press

Costas Gabrielatos (Edge Hill University)

The presentation will report on the main outcomes of the ESRC-funded project, Presentation of Islam and Muslims in the UK press, 1998-2009. It will also focus on the different corpus techniques used in the analysis, and comment on the merits and limitations of corpus approaches to discourse meaning. The project used a corpus of 143 million words, containing over 200,000 articles published in 12 national UK newspapers and their Sunday editions between 1998 and 2009. The analysis used corpus approaches, with the point of entry for the qualitative aspect of the analysis being the examination of the use of the words ‘Muslim(s)’ and ‘Islam’, as well as words used frequently in conjunction to them. The analysis revealed that Islam is treated predominantly as an ideology, rather than a religion. Similarly, the adjective Muslim is associated more frequently with issues of governance (e.g. politics, law) than with issues of religion. Irrespective of the stance projected in particular articles or newspapers, the discussion of Islam and Muslims in the UK press is, overall, carried out within contexts of armed/social conflict and/or terrorism, and the attendant issues of social disruption, violence, destruction and death.

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Violence and Understanding in Gaza: Methodological implications of studying the British broadsheets’ coverage of “Operation Cast Lead”

David Kaposi (University of East London)

In the familiar atmosphere of hue and cry, the book Violence and Understanding in Gaza encourages its readers to think for themselves when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As the first comprehensive investigation of the British broadsheets' coverage of the armed conflict between the State of Israel and Hamas, it critiques the newspapers' output, a