HENA01141U English - Elective subject 3: Language, Politics and Discourse

Volume 2013/2014
Course description: Language, politics and discourse

It is generally recognized that language has a significant role in politics. The negative implications of this have been the most striking: concepts like spin, newspeak and manipulation abound in discussions about political communication. This puts an obligation on language specialists to use their analytic abilities also in ways that can promote transparency in political discussions and throw light on how language actually works in a political context. This task comes under the broad heading of ‘discourse analysis’. One type of discourse analysis is a continuation of a critical tradition that started in the sixties and seventies, where the aim was to focus attention on the way power was used and especially abused. While the course will have a critical orientation, it also stresses the need to understand the real pressures that the political process is working under (including pressures due to the facts on the ground). Basic principles of rhetorical analysis will also be introduced. On the basis of central concepts, analytical practices and positions the course aims to stimulate an analytic practice that reflects an awareness of the grounds on which one may legitimately be critical both of politicians and of their critics when analysing language used in a political context.
COURSE TEXTBOOKS (to buy): Paltridge, Brian. 2006. Discourse analysis. London: Continuum Course Anthology (available from Publi©kom) Language, Politics and Discourse
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7,5 ECTS
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