PSYC 358 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Methamphetamine, Nanny, Social Inequality
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LECTURE 6: CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS
Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA)
- Primary Focus of Study: “The way social power abuse, dominance, power abuse, and
inequality are enacted, reproduced, and resisted by text and talk in the social and political
context” (Van Dijk, 2001).
- Focus is on social power of groups and institutions where power is defined in terms of control.
- Take a position and therefore at least resist social inequality.
Main Tenets of Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough & Wodak, 1997, 271-80).
1. CDA addresses social problems (dominance).
2. Power relations are discursive
- How do more powerful groups control public discourse?
- How does elite discourse control the minds (opinion and knowledge) and actions of less
powerful groups? What are the social consequences of such control?
A) Control of Public Discourse
- Most people only have control over talk with friends, family, and workmates.
- People are also passive targets of talk/text with police, tax people, bosses (people in
- Control of talk includes macro things like time, place, event, opinions and micro like who
controls the type of speech acts, turns, volume.
B) Mind Control – What makes people susceptible or vulnerable to mind control?
- They want to accept beliefs from those they see as credible (this is subjective).
- Obligation to be recipients (jobs, education, children, upbringing).
- May not have the knowledge (hence the discourse) to challenge the information they are
FORMS OF DENIAL (VAN DIJK, 1992)
- Act Denial – I did not say or do that.
- Control Denial: I did not do or say that on purpose. I was an accident.
-Intention Denial: I didn’t mean that. You got me wrong.
- Goal Denial: I did not do or say that in order to . . . .
Topics of Discussion: Focus on difference, negative effects for ‘real citizens”.