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  PANJAB UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH




SYNOPSIS


DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF THE WRITTEN ELECTORAL MATERIALS FROM THE 7th PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN IRAN




ABSTRACT
    The term discourse analysis has come to be used with a wide range of meaning which cover a wide range of activities. There are many existing approaches to the study of language. One of them which this study is based upon, is critical discourse analysis (CDA). This approach grew out of work in different disciplines in the 1960s and early 1970s, including linguistics, semiotics, psychology, anthropology and sociology. CDA analyses social interactions in a way which focuses upon their linguistic elements, and which sets out to show up their generally hidden determinants in the system of social relationships, as well as hidden effects they may have upon that system. Since CDA is not a specific direction of research, it does not have a unitary theoretical framework. Therefore, in this research project, in order to overcome the potential weaknesses of any single method, a critical linguistic analysis will be adopted from some of the most influential linguists in the field to analyse the formal linguistic features of the written electoral materials from the 7th presidential election in Iran, to explain discourse structures in terms of properties of social interaction and especially social structure, and to focus on the ways discourse structures enact, conform, legitimate, reproduce or challenge relations of power and ideology in society.


AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
1.    To help correct a widespread underestimation of the significance of language in the production, maintenance, and change of social relations of power in Iran.
2.    To refer to the order of discourse of the society as a whole, which structures the orders of discourse of the various social institutions in a particular way.
3.    To show that orders of discourse are ideologically harmonized internally or (at the societal level) with each other.
4.    To stress both the determination of discourse by social structure, and the effects of discourse upon society through its reproduction of social structures.
5.    To examine the relationship between discourse and sociocultural change.
So this research project aims to answer the following questions:
1.    What were the formal textual features of the conservatives’ and reformists’ discourses at the 7th presidential election?
2.    How did their discourses and strategies change and why?
3.    What were the ideologies behind the discourse of each group?
4.    What was the relationship between language of each party and power?
SOURCES AND METHODOLOGY
There are many existing approaches to the study of language (e.g. linguistics, sociolinguistics, pragmatics, cognitive psychology, etc.) but while each of them has something to contribute to critical language study, they all have major limitations from a critical point of view.
The critical discourse analysis upon which this study is based, does not adhere to any particular approach. It is similar to a qualitative research method in that it deals with non-numerical data and can only be validated by other researchers examining the same data.  However, its similarity can only be detected to a certain point because a qualitative research method is either synthetic or holistic, whereas critical linguistics is analytic in nature.  A qualitative method on content analysis is rejected on the grounds of its inability to get beneath the textual surface where the crucial meanings lie.  So in this research a critical linguistic analysis will be adopted from some of the most influential linguists in the field (in order to overcome the potential weaknesses of any single method) including Fairclaough (1989, 1992, 1995), Fowler (1991) and van Dijk (1981, 1985) to :
1.    Study the theoretical aspects of the subject i.e. explanation and definition of the concepts of ideology, power, discourse, discourse analysis, order of discourse, critical discourse analysis, etc.
2.    Study the descriptive aspects of the subject, i.e. giving a systematic presentation of a procedure for critical discourse analysis; setting out a view of interrelationship of language and society; illustrating the place of language in society, and showing that language connects with the social through being the primary domain of ideology, and through being both a site of, and a stake in, struggles for power.
3.    Study the analytic aspects of the subject, i.e. analysing the formal textual features of their statements, press interviews and electoral speeches and manifestoes of the two main candidates for presidency – Khatami and Nategh Noori and their main supporters.
As the primary sources of the present study, the written electoral materials such as the speeches and manifestoes published in newspapers and the published interviews and debates of the candidates, and as the secondary sources the speeches, statements and articles of other politicians as well as the editorials of the newspapers regarding the presidential election, from the 8th of May, 1997 when the Council of Guardians announced the names of the eligible candidates upto the last day of election (23rd of May, 1997) would be taken into consideration.
Time period required to complete the research project: Approximately two years.
Field work: No specific field work is required in this research project.
Place/libraries where research work is to be carried out: In order to establish a good, rich theoretical framework for the study, I have to visit and search so many libraries and universities such s American centre library, British council library, library of Delhi University, library of JNU (all located in Delhi) as well as the library of Panjab University, Changidarh.
    Since this research project aims to analyse the texts from the seventh presidential election in Iran, and as per the recommendation of the committee I have co-opted a co-supervisor from Iran in my research work, therefore for collecting the relevant materials as well as visiting my co-supervisor I also have to visit Iran.
PROPOSAL
Background of the Study: The 1970s saw the emergence of a form of discourse and text analysis that recognized the role of language in structuring power relations in society.  At that time, much linguistic research elsewhere was focused on formal aspects of language which constituted the linguistic competence of speakers which could theoretically be isolated from specific instances of language use (Chomsky, 1957).  Where the relation between language and context was considered, as in pragmatics (Levinson, 1983), with a focus on speakers’ pragmatic / socio-linguistic competence, sentences and components of sentences were still regarded as the basic units.  Much socio-linguistic research at the time was aimed at describing and explaining language variation, language change and the structures of communicative interaction, with limited attention to issues of social hierarchy and power (Labov, 1972; Hymes, 1972).  In such a context, attention to texts, their production and interpretation and their relation to societal impulses and structures, signalled a very different kind of interest (de Beugrande and Dressler, 1981).  The work of Kress and Hodge (1979) and Wodak (1989) serve to explain and illustrate the main assumptions, principles and procedures of what had then become known as critical linguistics.
Kress (1990 : 84-97) gives an account of the theoretical foundations and sources of critical linguistics.  By the 1990s the label critical discourse analysis came to be used more consistently with this particular approach to linguistic analysis.  Kress (1990 : 94) shows how critical discourse analysis by that time was ‘emerging as a distinct theory of language, a radically different kind of linguistics’.  Many of the basic assumptions of critical discourse analysis that were salient in the early stages, and were elaborated in later development of the theory, are articulated in Kress’s (1989) work.
Fowler et al. (1979) has been referred to in order to ascertain the early foundations of critical linguistics.  Later work of Fowler (1991, 1996) shows how tools provided by standard linguistic theories (a 1965 version of Chomskyan grammar, and Halliday’s theory of systemic functional grammar) can be used to uncover linguistic structures of power in texts.  Not only in news discourses, but also in literary criticism Fowler illustrates that systematic grammatical devices function in establishing, manipulating and naturalizing social hierarchies.
Fairclough (1989) sets out the social theories under planning critical discourse analysis, and as in other early critical linguistic work, a variety of textual examples are anlaysed to illustrate the field, its aims and methods of analysis.  Later Fairclough (1992, 1995) and Chouliariki and Fairclough (1999) explain and elaborate some advances in critical discourse analysis, showing not only how the analytical framework for investigating language in relation to power and ideology developed, but also how critical discourse analysis is useful in disclosing the discursive nature of much contemporary social and cultural change.  Particularly the language of the mass media is scrutinized as a site of power, of struggle and also as a site where language is apparently transparent.  Media institutions often purport to be neutral in that they provide space for public discourse, that they reflect states of affairs disinterestedly, and that they give the perceptions and arguments of the newsmakers.  Fiarclaugh shows the fallacy of such assumptions, and illustrates the mediating and constructing role of the media with a variety of examples.
Van Dijk’s earlier work in text linguistics and discourse analysis (1977, 1981) already shows the interest he takes in texts and discourses as basic units and social practices.  Like other critical linguistic theorists, he traces the origins of linguistic interest in units of language larger than sentences and in text - and context-dependency of meanings. Van Dijk and Kintsch (1983) considered the relevance of discourse to the study of language processing. Their development of a cognitive model of discourse understanding in individuals, gradually developed into cognitive models for explaining the construction of meaning on a societal level. Van Dijk (1985) collected the work of a variety of scholars for whom language and how it functions in discourse is variously the primary object of research, or a tool in the investigation of other social phenomena. This is in a way a documentation of the ‘state of the art’ of critical linguistics in the mid 1980s.

Van Dijk turns specifically to media discourse, giving not only his own reflection on communication in the mass media (van Dijk, 1986), but also bringing together the theories and applications of a variety of scholars interested in the production, uses and functions of media discourses (van Dijk, 1985). In critically analysing various kinds of discourses that encode prejudice, van Dijk’s interest is in developing a theoretical model that will explain cognitive discourse processing mechanisms.  Most recently  van Dijk has focused on issues of racism and ideology (van Dijk, 1998).
By the end of the 1980s critical linguistics was able to describe its aims, research interests, chosen perspective and methods of analysis much more specifically and rigidly than hitherto. Wodak (1989) lists, explains and illustrates the most important characteristics of critical linguistic research as they had become established in continued research.  The relevance of investigating language use in institutional settings is reiterated, and a new focus on the necessity of a historical perspective is introduced (the discourse – historical approach). This was followed by a variety of research projects into discursive practices in institutional contexts that would assist in developing an integrated theory of critical discourse analysis.
Statement of the Subject: The fruitless study of language in isolation has led linguists to acknowledge the importance of considering social context in discourse analysis.  Deacon et al. (1999 : 147-8) propose : “Discourse conjoins language use as text and practices.  What we identify as ‘discourse’ and what we identify as ‘social’ are deeply intervened ... .  All talks, all texts, are social in nature.  Language is not some transparent medium through which we see the world”. They make the point that “the moving to discourse analysis enabled linguistics to tackle the structures of whole texts, rather than just the sentences, words and parts of words taken in isolation which it had to a great extent concentrated on previously” (Deacon et al., 1999 : 179). So, the analysis of discourse is, necessarily, the analysis of language in use and as such, it cannot be restricted to the description of linguistic forms independent of the purposes or functions which those forms are designed to serve in human affairs. 
Critical discourse analysis which this research work is based upon, analyses social interactions in a way which sets out to show up their generally hidden determinants in the system of social relationship as well as hidden effects they may have upon that system.  Critically study of language would place a broad conception of the social study of language at the core of language study.  Critical discourse analysis regards ‘language as social practice’ (Fairclough and Wodak, 1997), and takes consideration of the context of language use to be crucial (Wodak, 2000; Benke, 2000).  Moreover, critical discourse analysis takes a particular interest in the relation between language and power.
Fairclough and Wodak (1997) have put forward an eight-point programme to define critical discourse analysis as follows :
1.    Critical discourse analysis addresses social problems.
2.    Power relations are discursive.
3.    Discourse constitutes society and culture.
4.    Discourse does ideological work.
5.    Discourse is historical.
6.    The link between text and society is mediated.
7.    Discourse analysis is interpretative and explanatory.
8.    Discourse is a form of social action.
Interpretation of text and discourse is, therefore, interpretation of socially determined language, and this means being involved in understanding the processes, functions and meanings of social interaction, and as Birch (1989 : 153) claims, this means being involved in “politics of interaction”.  In this way the links between people and society are not arbitrary and accidental, but one institutionally determined.  Critical language study aims to select and deconstruct these links and to understand the nature of language and society and their mutual effect on each other.  Critical discourse analysis sees discourses as parts of social struggles, and contextualizes them in terms of broader (non-discoursal) struggles, and the effects of these struggles on structures.  It puts emphasis not only on the formal textual features of discourse but also on the social effects of discourse, on creativity, and on future.  On the other hand, through critical discourse analysis the analyst can show what power relationships determine discourses; these relationships are themselves the outcome of struggles, and are established (and, ideally, naturalized) by those with power.  It lays emphasis on the social determination of discourse, and on the past – on the results of past struggles.
The 7th presidential election in Iran took place following a series of happenings which in fact was the aftermath of social forces in a broader competition between ideology and culture.   This event was a turning point in the history of Iran because, for the first time two different discourse types, based on two different ideologies, faced and challenged with each other.  For the first time some slogans such as “civil society”, “liberalism”, “human rights”, “freedom of expression” etc. were brought up by the reformist party and these new concepts entered the current discourse of the society and somehow changed the social structure.  So in this research project critical discourse analysis will be used to describe the formal properties and features of these two discourses in Iran; to interpret the relationship between texts and interaction; to explain the relationship between interaction and social context and their social effects; to explore the relationship between language and ideology; and to illustrate the relationship between language and society and discourse and social structure in Iran.
 
TENTATIVE CHAPTER DIVISION
    Chapter one: Introduction contains the background of the study, statement of the subject, aims and objectives of the study, research methodology, data collection, primary and secondary sources of the study, significance of the study as well as limitations of the study.
    Chapter two : Review of Literature provides detailed definition of the concepts such as discourse, discourse analysis, critical discourse analysis, etc. and gives a brief overview to the approaches to discourse analysis. Then it proposes a systematic presentation of a procedure for critical discourse analysis. This chapter also sets out a view of the interrelationship of language and society, with the emphasis upon power and ideology.
     Chapter three : Discourse Analysis of the Reformist Party. In this chapter a critical linguistic analysis will be adopted to analyse linguistic features of the electoral speeches, debates and interviews as well as electoral statements of the reformist party, and to investigate the ideology behind the discourse of this party, and to explore the relationship between their language and power.
    Chapter four : Discourse Analysis of the Conservative Party brings into focus the formal textual features of the electoral statements, debates and speeches of the conservative party during the seventh presidential election in Iran and explores their ideological structures.
    Chapter five : Conclusions and Suggestions summarizes that language connects with the social through being the primary domain of ideology, and shows the links between linguistic features of electoral written texts and social, political and ideological structures, relations and processes they belong to.
SCHEME OF CHAPTERIZATION
Chapter One    :    Introduction
Chapter Two    :    Review of Literature
1.    Definition of the concepts
2.    History of discourse analysis
3.    Approaches to discourse analysis
4.    The relationship between language, power and ideology
Chapter Three    :    Discourse Analysis of the Reformist Party
1.    Critical discourse analysis of electoral speeches
2.    Critical discourse analysis of the electoral debates and interviews
3.    Critical discourse analysis of the electoral statements
Chapter Four    :    Discourse Analysis of the Conservative Party
1.    Critical discourse analysis of electoral speeches
2.    Critical discourse analysis of the electoral debates and interviews
3.    Critical discourse analysis of the electoral statements
Chapter Five    :    Conclusions and Suggestions

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Ansari-Lari, E. (1997) Seventh Selection. Tehran: Hamshahri.
Bashiriyeh, H. (1999) State and Civil Society : Discourse of Political Sociology. Tehran : Naghd-o-Nazar.
Bazerman, C. (1990) “Discourse Analysis and Social Construction”.  Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. 11 : 77-83.
Benke, G. (2000)  “Diskursanalyse als sozialwissenschaftliche Untersuchungsmethode”. SWS Rundschau. 2 : 140-62.
Birch, D. (1989) Language, Literature and Critical Practice. London: Routledge.
Bourdieu, P. (1999) “Language and Symbolic Power”.  In A. Jaworski & K. Coupland (eds.) The Discourse Reader. London : Routledge.
Brown, G. & Yule, G. (1983). Discourse Analysis. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.
Carter, R., Goddard, A., Reah, D., Sanger, K. & Bowring, M. (1997) Working with Texts : A Core Book for Language Analysis.  New York: Routledge.
Chomsky, N (1957)  Syntactic Structures.  Gravenhage : Mouton.
Chouliaraki, L. & Fairclough, N. (1999) Discourse in Late Modernity: Rethinking Critical Discourse Analysis.  Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press.
Deacon, D., Pickering, M., Golding, P. & Murdock, G. (1999) Researching Communications: A practical Guide to Methods in Media and Cultural Analysis. London: Arnold.
de Beaugrande, R. A. & Dressler, W.U (1981)  Einfuhrung in die Textlinguistik.  Tubingen : Niemeyer.
Fairclough, N. & Wodak, R. (1997) “Critical Discourse Analysis”.  In T. van Dijk (ed.) Discourse studies : A Multidisciplinary Introduction. Vol. 2. London : Sage.
Fairclough, N. (1989)  Language and Power.  London : Longman.
Fairclough, N. (1992) Discourse and Social Change. Oxford: Blackwell.
Fairclough, N. (1995)  Critical Discourse Analysis : the Critical Study of Language.  London : Longman.
Fowler, R. (1985) “Power”.  In T. van Dijk (ed.) Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Vol. 4. New York : Academic Press.
Fowler, R. (1991) Language in News : Discourse and Ideology in Press.  London : Routledge.
Fowler, R., Hodge, G., Kress, G & Trew, T. (1979) (eds.)  Language and Control.  London : Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Gee, J. P. (1999)  An Introduction to Discourse Analysis Theory and Method.  London : Routledge.
Gholamrezakashi, M. J. (2000)  The Magic of Speech.  Tehran : Ayande Pooyan.
Gibbons, M. (1987) (ed.) Interpreting Politics.  Oxford : Basil Blackwell.
Hoey, M. (2001)  Textual Interaction : An Introduction to Written Discourse Analysis.  London : Routledge.
Hymes, D. (1972)  “Models of Interaction of Language and Social Life”.  In J. J. Gumperz & D. Hymes (eds.) Directions in Socioloingustics – The Ethnography of Communication.  New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Jaworski, A. & Coupland, N. (1999)  “Perspectives on Discourses Analysis”.  In A. Jaworski & N. Coupland (eds.) The Discourse Reader.  London : Routledge.
Kress, G. & Hodge, B. (1979)  Language and Ideology.  London : Routledge.
Kress, G. (1989)  “History and Language : Towards a Social Account of Linguistic Change”. Journal of Pragmatics. 13 (3) : 445-66.
Kress, G. (1990) “Critical Discourse Analysis”. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. 11 : 84-97.
Labov, W. (1972)  Language in the Inner City.  Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press.
Levinson, S. (1983)  Pragmatics.  Oxford : Oxford University Press.
Schiffrin, D. (1994) Approaches to Discourse.  Oxford : Blackwell.
Scollon, R. (2001)  “Action and Text : Towards an Integrated Understanding of Text in Social (Inter) Action, Mediated Discourse Analysis and the Problem of Social Action”.  In R. Wodak & M. Meyer (eds.)  Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis.  London : Sage.
Seidel, G. (1985) “Political Discourse Analysis”.  In T. van Dijk (ed.) Handbook of Discourse Analysis.  Vol. 4. London : Academic Press.
Simpson, P. (1993)  Language, Ideology and Point of View. London : Routledge.
van Dijk, T. & Kintsch, W. (1983) Strategies of Discourse Comprehension.  New York : Academic Press.
van Dijk, T. (1977) Text and Context : Exploration in the semantics and Pragmatics of Discourse.  London : Longman.
van Dijk, T. (1981) Studies in Pragmatics of Discourse.  The Hague / Berlin : Mauton.
van Dijk, T. (1985)  Handbook of Discourse Analysis. 4 vols.  New York: Academic Press.
van Dijk, T. (1986) Racism in the Press.  London : Arnold.
van Dijk, T. (1998) Ideology : A Multidisciplinary Approach.  London: Sage.
Wodak, R. & Meyer, M. (2001) (eds.)  Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis.  London : Sage.
Wodak, R. (1989) “Introduction”.  In R. Wodak (ed.) Language, Power and Ideology.  Amesterdam : Benjamins.
Wodak, R. (2000) “Does Sociolinguistics Need Social Theory?  New Perspective on Critical Discourse Analysis”.  Discourse & Society, 2 (3) : 123-147.
PERSONAL STATEMENT
    During the final year of M.A. in linguistics at the Department of Linguistics, the University of Delhi, we had fruitful discussions, under the supervision of Professor Agnihotri in our sociolinguistics classes, on how language in its everyday as well as professional usage enables us to understand issues of social concern. These discussions made me conscious to the relationship between language and power. Meanwhile I had the wonderful opportunity to attend in a course work chaired by Professor John Gumperz at the Department of Linguistics, the University of Delhi about theories and methods of discourse analysis. These provided an important stimulus for me to plan to work on the role of language in social life and since in the 7th presidential election in Iran two different discourses based on two different ideologies faced and challenged each other, I decided to work on the discourse analysis of this presidential election to show how language is theorized in relation to power and ideology?. How do powerful groups control public discourse? How does such discourse control mind and action of (less) powerful groups, and what are the social consequences of such control? and I hope at the end of this research project by answering at least to some of these questions, I could contribute to the development of this field.
Chapter Two
Conceptual Framework of Discourse
    The concept of discourse plays an increasingly significant role in contemporary social science. Although originating in disciplines such as linguistics and semiotics, it has been extended to many branches of the human and social sciences. Scholars in academic disciplines as diverse as anthropology, history and sociology psychoanalysis and social psychology; cultural, gender and post-colonial studies political science, public policy analysis, political theory and international relations, not to mention linguistics and literary theory, have used the concept of discourse to define and explain problems in their respective fields of study (Howarth 2002:1). Therefore, discourse is a difficult concept, largely because there are so many conflicting and overlapping definitions formulated from various theoretical and disciplinary standpoints (see van Dijk 1985a and Mcdonell 1986 for some range).
    Discourse is used across the social sciences in a variety of ways , often under the influence of Foucault. Discourse is used in a general sense for language (as well as , for instance , visual images) as an element of social life which is dialectically related to other elements. Discourse is also used more specifically : different discourses are different ways of representing aspects of the world.
    Fairclough (2003: 124) views discourses as a way of representing aspects of the world – the processes, relations and structures of the material word , the ‘mental world’ of thoughts, feelings beliefs and so forth, and the social world”. Particular aspects of the world may be represented differently, so we are generally in the position of having to consider the relationship between different discourses. Different discourses are different perspectives on the world, and they are associated with the different relations people have to the world , which in turn depends on their positions in the world, their social and personal identities , and the social relationships in which they stand to other people. Discourses not only represent the world as it is (or rather is seen to be) , they are also projective , imaginaries , representing possible worlds which are different from the actual world, and tied in to projects to change the world in particular directions. The relationships between different discourses are one element of the relationships between different people – they may complement one another, compete with one another, one can dominate others , and so forth. Discourses constitute part of the resources  which people deploy in relating to one another–keeping separate from one another, cooperating, competing, dominating–and in seeking to change the ways in which they relate to one another. 
    Coupland and Jaworski (2001: 148) combine two fundamental approaches to discourse : “as language–in- use and language use relative to social, political and cultural formulations - it is language reflecting social order but also language shaping social order, and shaping individuals' interaction with society". This is the key factor explaining why so many academic disciplines entertain the notion of discourse with such commitment. Discourse falls squarely within the interests not only of linguists, literary critics, critical theorists and communication scientists, but also of geographers, philosophers, political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, social psychologists, and many others. Despite important differences of emphasis, discourse is an inescapably important concept for understanding society and human responses to it, as well as for understanding language itself.

2.1.1.  DEFINING THE CONCEPT OF DISCOURSE:
    Originally, the term discourse came from Latin, discursus, meaning ‘to run', `to run on', ‘to run to and fro'. Historically, it has been applied more to rehearsed forms of spoken language – like speeches, where people ‘run on' about a topic – than to spontaneous speech. The modern meaning of discourse as encompassing all forms of talk has evolved because conversations, like formal speeches, `run'. This means that speakers make an effort to give their interactions shape and coherence – not consciously, but as an integral part of co-operating with another speaker to make meaning. So when people refer to talk as discourse they are drawing attention to the way talk is crafted medium (Carter et al. 1997: 165-6).
    Twenty years ago, discourse had its traditional meaning: the ordered exposition in writing or speech of a particular subject, a practice familiarly associated with writers such as Descartes and Machiavelli. Recently the term has been used with increasing frequency and with new kinds of meaning, reflecting in part the effect on critical vocabulary of work done within and across the boundaries of various disciplines: linguistics, philosophy, literary criticism, history, psychoanalysis and sociology (Fowler 2001: 62). So much so that it is frequently left undefined, as if its usage are simply common knowledge. It is used widely in analysing literary and non-literary texts and it is often employed to signal a certain theoretical sophistication in ways that are vague and sometimes obfuscatory. It has perhaps the widest range of possible significations of any term in literary and cultural theory, and yet it is often the term within theoretical texts which is least defined. It is interesting therefore to trace the ways in which we try to make sense of the term. The most obvious way to track down its range of meanings is through consulting a dictionary1, but here the more general meanings of the term and its more theoretical usages seem to have become enmeshed, since the theoretical meanings always have an overlaying of the more general meanings (Mills, 1997: 1).
    This sense of the general usage of discourse as having to do with conversation and holding forth on a subject, or giving a speech, has been partly due to the etymology of the word. However, it has also been due to the fact that this is the core meaning of the term discours in French, and since the 1960s it is a word  which has been associated with French philosophical thought, even though the terms discours and discourse do not correspond to one another exactly. During the 1960s the general meaning of the term, its philosophical meaning and a new set of more theoretical meanings began to diverge slightly, but these more general meanings have always been kept in play, inflecting the theoretical meanings in particular ways.
    Within the theoretical range of meanings, it is difficult to know where or how to track down the meaning of discourse. Glossaries of theoretical terms are sometimes of help, but very often the disciplinary context in which the term occurs is more important in trying to determine which of these meanings is being brought into play. This research will try to map out the contexts within which the term discourse is used, in order to narrow down the range of possible meanings.
    In linguistics, as Fairclough (1992b) indicates, discourse is used to refer to extended samples of either spoken or written language. This sense of `discourse' emphasizes interaction between speaker and addressee or between writer and reader, and therefore processes of producing and interpreting speech and writing, as well as the situational context of language use. Discourse is also used for different types of language used in different sorts of social situation (e.g. newspaper discourse, advertising discourse, classroom discourse, the discourse of medical consultations).
    On the other hand, discourse is widely used in social theory and analysis, for example in the work of Michel Foucault, to refer to different ways of structuring areas of knowledge and social practice. Foucault (1984) treats discourse sometimes as the general domain of all statements, sometimes as an individualizable group of statements, and sometimes as a regulated practice that accounts for a number of statements. Discourses in this sense are manifested in particular ways of using language and other symbolic forms such as visual images (see Thompson 1990). Discourses do not just reflect or represent social entities and relations, they construct or `constitute' them (Fairclough 1992b: 3).
    Kress (1985b: 6-7) provides a very useful definition of the concept: "Institutions and social groupings have specific meanings and values which are articulated in language in systematic ways. Discourses are systematically-organized sets of statements which give expression to the meanings and values of an institution. Beyond that, they define, describe and delimit what it is possible to say and not possible to say (and by extension - what it is possible to do or not to do) with respect to the area of concern of that institution, whether marginally or centrally. A discourse provides a set of possible statements about a given area, and organizes and gives structure to the manner in which a particular topic, object, process is to be talked about. In that it provides descriptions, rules, permissions and prohibitions of social and individual actions".
    In McCarthy’s view point (2001: 48) ‘the study of discourse is the study of language independently of the notion of the sentence’. This usually involves studying longer (spoken and written) texts but, above all, it involves examining the relationship between a text and the situation in which it occurs.
    From another point of view Schiffrin (1994) categorizes the definition of discourse in three groups:
1. Discourse as language above the sentence: The classic definition of discourse as derived from formalist (in Hymes's 1974b terms, "structural") assumptions is that discourse is "language above the sentence or above the clause" (Stubbs 1983: 1). Van Dijk (1985c: 4) suggests : "Structural descriptions characterize discourse at several levels or dimensions of analysis and in terms of many different units, categories, schematic patterns, or relations". Despite the diversity of structural approaches noted by van Dijk, there is a common core: structural analyses focus on the way different units function in relation to each other (a focus shared with structuralism in general (e.g. Levi-Strauss 1967; Piaget 1970), but they disregard "the functional relations with the context of which discourse is a part" (van Dijk 1985c: 4). Since it is precisely this relationship – between discourse and the context of which discourse is a part – that characterizes functional analyses, it might seem that the two approaches have little in common.
    Structurally based analyses of discourse find ‘constituents’ (smaller linguistic units) that have particular ‘relationships’ with one another and that can occur in a restricted number of (often rule-governed) ‘arrangements’ (see Grimes 1975, Stubbs 1983, Chap. 5). In many structural approaches, discourse is viewed as a level of structure higher than the sentence, or higher than another unit of text. Harris (1952) - the first linguist to refer to "discourse analysis"– claimed explicitly that discourse is the next level in a hierarchy of morphemes, clauses, and sentences. Harris viewed discourse analysis procedurally as a formal methodology, derived from structural methods of linguistic analysis: such a methodology could break a text down into relationships (such as equivalence, substitution) among its lower-level constituents. Structure was so central to Harris's view of discourse that he also argued that what opposes discourse to a random sequence of sentences is precisely the fact that it has structure: a pattern by which segments of the discourse occur (and recur) relative to each other (Schiffrin 1994: 23-4).
2. Discourse as language use: According to Fasold (1990: 65) the study of discourse is "the study of any aspect of language use". Another statement of this view of discourse is Wodak's (2001b: 66): "Discourse can be understood as a complex bundle of simultaneous and sequential interrelated linguistic acts, which manifest themselves within and across the social fields of action as thematically interrelated semiotic, oral or written tokens, very often as texts, that belong to specific semiotic types, that is genres.... Discourses are open and hybrid and not closed systems at all".
    As these views make clear, the analysis of language use (see Saussure's parole, 1959) cannot be independent of the analysis of the purposes and functions of language in human life. This view reaches an extreme in the work of critical language scholarship, i.e. the study of language, power, and ideology. Fairclough , for example, advocates a dialectical conception of language and society whereby "language is a part of society; linguistic phenomena are social phenomena of a special sort, and social phenomena are (in part) linguistic phenomena"(1989: 23). In Fairclough's view, language and society partially constitute one another - such that the analysis of language as an independent (autonomous) system would be a contradiction in terms2 (see also Foucault 1982, Grimshaw 1981). Even in less extreme functionalist views, however, discourse is assumed to be interdependent with social life, such that its analysis necessarily intersects with meanings, activities, and systems outside of itself.3
    A definition of discourse as language use is consistent with functionalism in general: discourse is viewed as a system (a socially and culturally organized way of speaking) through which particular functions are realized. Although formal regularities may very well be examined, a functionalist definition of discourse leads analysts away from the structural basis of such regularities to focus, instead, on the way patterns of talk are put to use for certain purposes in particular contexts and/or how they result from the application of communicative strategies. Functionally based approaches tend to draw upon a variety of methods of analysis, often including not just quantitative methods drawn from social scientific approaches, but also more humanistically based interpretive efforts to replicate actors' own purposes or goals. Not surprisingly, they rely less upon the strictly grammatical characteristics of utterances as sentences, than upon the way utterances are situated in contexts.4
3. Discourse as utterances: This view captures the idea that discourse is above (larger than) other units of language; however, by saying that utterance (rather than sentence) is the smaller unit of which discourse is comprised, we can suggest that discourse arises not as a collection of decontextualized units of language structure, but as a collection of inherently contextualized units of language use.
    A definition of utterances implies several goals of discourse analysis. First is what we might call syntactic goals, or more appropriately for discourse analysis, sequential goals: are there principles underlying the order in which one utterance, or one type of utterance, follows another? Second is what might be called semantic and pragmatic goals: how does the organization of discourse, and the meaning and use of particular expressions and constructions within certain contexts, allow people to convey and interpret the communicative content of what is said? How does one utterance (and the sequential relationship between utterances) influence the communicative content of another? Thus, defining discourse as utterances seems to balance both the functional emphasis on how language is used in context and the formal emphasis on extended patterns (Schiffrin 1994: 41).


انجام پایان نامه

برای دیدن ادامه مطلب از لینک زیر استفاده نمایید

PANJAB UNIVERSITY

DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

 

 

DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF THE WRITTEN ELECTORAL MATERIALS FROM THE 7th PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN IRAN

 

 

 

 

ABSTRACT

          The term discourse analysis has come to be used with a wide range of meaning which cover a wide range of activities. There are many existing approaches to the study of language. One of them which this study is based upon, is critical discourse analysis (CDA). This approach grew out of work in different disciplines in the 1960s and early 1970s, including linguistics, semiotics, psychology, anthropology and sociology. CDA analyses social interactions in a way which focuses upon their linguistic elements, and which sets out to show up their generally hidden determinants in the system of social relationships, as well as hidden effects they may have upon that system. Since CDA is not a specific direction of research, it does not have a unitary theoretical framework. Therefore, in this research project, in order to overcome the potential weaknesses of any single method, a critical linguistic analysis will be adopted from some of the most influential linguists in the field to analyse the formal linguistic features of the written electoral materials from the 7th presidential election in Iran, to explain discourse structures in terms of properties of social interaction and especially social structure, and to focus on the ways discourse structures enact, conform, legitimate, reproduce or challenge relations of power and ideology in society.

 

 

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

1.                 To help correct a widespread underestimation of the significance of language in the production, maintenance, and change of social relations of power in Iran.

2.                 To refer to the order of discourse of the society as a whole, which structures the orders of discourse of the various social institutions in a particular way.

3.                 To show that orders of discourse are ideologically harmonized internally or (at the societal level) with each other.

4.                 To stress both the determination of discourse by social structure, and the effects of discourse upon society through its reproduction of social structures.

5.                 To examine the relationship between discourse and sociocultural change.

So this research project aims to answer the following questions:

1.                 What were the formal textual features of the conservatives’ and reformists’ discourses at the 7th presidential election?

2.                 How did their discourses and strategies change and why?

3.                 What were the ideologies behind the discourse of each group?

4.                 What was the relationship between language of each party and power?

SOURCES AND METHODOLOGY

There are many existing approaches to the study of language (e.g. linguistics, sociolinguistics, pragmatics, cognitive psychology, etc.) but while each of them has something to contribute to critical language study, they all have major limitations from a critical point of view.

The critical discourse analysis upon which this study is based, does not adhere to any particular approach. It is similar to a qualitative research method in that it deals with non-numerical data and can only be validated by other researchers examining the same data.  However, its similarity can only be detected to a certain point because a qualitative research method is either synthetic or holistic, whereas critical linguistics is analytic in nature.  A qualitative method on content analysis is rejected on the grounds of its inability to get beneath the textual surface where the crucial meanings lie.  So in this research a critical linguistic analysis will be adopted from some of the most influential linguists in the field (in order to overcome the potential weaknesses of any single method) including Fairclaough (1989, 1992, 1995), Fowler (1991) and van Dijk (1981, 1985) to :

1.                 Study the theoretical aspects of the subject i.e. explanation and definition of the concepts of ideology, power, discourse, discourse analysis, order of discourse, critical discourse analysis, etc.

2.                 Study the descriptive aspects of the subject, i.e. giving a systematic presentation of a procedure for critical discourse analysis; setting out a view of interrelationship of language and society; illustrating the place of language in society, and showing that language connects with the social through being the primary domain of ideology, and through being both a site of, and a stake in, struggles for power.

3.                 Study the analytic aspects of the subject, i.e. analysing the formal textual features of their statements, press interviews and electoral speeches and manifestoes of the two main candidates for presidency – Khatami and Nategh Noori and their main supporters.

As the primary sources of the present study, the written electoral materials such as the speeches and manifestoes published in newspapers and the published interviews and debates of the candidates, and as the secondary sources the speeches, statements and articles of other politicians as well as the editorials of the newspapers regarding the presidential election, from the 8th of May, 1997 when the Council of Guardians announced the names of the eligible candidates upto the last day of election (23rd of May, 1997) would be taken into consideration.

Time period required to complete the research project: Approximately two years.

Field work: No specific field work is required in this research project.

Place/libraries where research work is to be carried out: In order to establish a good, rich theoretical framework for the study, I have to visit and search so many libraries and universities such s American centre library, British council library, library of Delhi University, library of JNU (all located in Delhi) as well as the library of Panjab University, Changidarh.

          Since this research project aims to analyse the texts from the seventh presidential election in Iran, and as per the recommendation of the committee I have co-opted a co-supervisor from Iran in my research work, therefore for collecting the relevant materials as well as visiting my co-supervisor I also have to visit Iran.

PROPOSAL

Background of the Study: The 1970s saw the emergence of a form of discourse and text analysis that recognized the role of language in structuring power relations in society.  At that time, much linguistic research elsewhere was focused on formal aspects of language which constituted the linguistic competence of speakers which could theoretically be isolated from specific instances of language use (Chomsky, 1957).  Where the relation between language and context was considered, as in pragmatics (Levinson, 1983), with a focus on speakers’ pragmatic / socio-linguistic competence, sentences and components of sentences were still regarded as the basic units.  Much socio-linguistic research at the time was aimed at describing and explaining language variation, language change and the structures of communicative interaction, with limited attention to issues of social hierarchy and power (Labov, 1972; Hymes, 1972).  In such a context, attention to texts, their production and interpretation and their relation to societal impulses and structures, signalled a very different kind of interest (de Beugrande and Dressler, 1981).  The work of Kress and Hodge (1979) and Wodak (1989) serve to explain and illustrate the main assumptions, principles and procedures of what had then become known as critical linguistics.

Kress (1990 : 84-97) gives an account of the theoretical foundations and sources of critical linguistics.  By the 1990s the label critical discourse analysis came to be used more consistently with this particular approach to linguistic analysis.  Kress (1990 : 94) shows how critical discourse analysis by that time was ‘emerging as a distinct theory of language, a radically different kind of linguistics’.  Many of the basic assumptions of critical discourse analysis that were salient in the early stages, and were elaborated in later development of the theory, are articulated in Kress’s (1989) work.

Fowler et al. (1979) has been referred to in order to ascertain the early foundations of critical linguistics.  Later work of Fowler (1991, 1996) shows how tools provided by standard linguistic theories (a 1965 version of Chomskyan grammar, and Halliday’s theory of systemic functional grammar) can be used to uncover linguistic structures of power in texts.  Not only in news discourses, but also in literary criticism Fowler illustrates that systematic grammatical devices function in establishing, manipulating and naturalizing social hierarchies.

Fairclough (1989) sets out the social theories under planning critical discourse analysis, and as in other early critical linguistic work, a variety of textual examples are anlaysed to illustrate the field, its aims and methods of analysis.  Later Fairclough (1992, 1995) and Chouliariki and Fairclough (1999) explain and elaborate some advances in critical discourse analysis, showing not only how the analytical framework for investigating language in relation to power and ideology developed, but also how critical discourse analysis is useful in disclosing the discursive nature of much contemporary social and cultural change.  Particularly the language of the mass media is scrutinized as a site of power, of struggle and also as a site where language is apparently transparent.  Media institutions often purport to be neutral in that they provide space for public discourse, that they reflect states of affairs disinterestedly, and that they give the perceptions and arguments of the newsmakers.  Fiarclaugh shows the fallacy of such assumptions, and illustrates the mediating and constructing role of the media with a variety of examples.

Van Dijk’s earlier work in text linguistics and discourse analysis (1977, 1981) already shows the interest he takes in texts and discourses as basic units and social practices.  Like other critical linguistic theorists, he traces the origins of linguistic interest in units of language larger than sentences and in text - and context-dependency of meanings. Van Dijk and Kintsch (1983) considered the relevance of discourse to the study of language processing. Their development of a cognitive model of discourse understanding in individuals, gradually developed into cognitive models for explaining the construction of meaning on a societal level. Van Dijk (1985) collected the work of a variety of scholars for whom language and how it functions in discourse is variously the primary object of research, or a tool in the investigation of other social phenomena. This is in a way a documentation of the ‘state of the art’ of critical linguistics in the mid 1980s.

 

Van Dijk turns specifically to media discourse, giving not only his own reflection on communication in the mass media (van Dijk, 1986), but also bringing together the theories and applications of a variety of scholars interested in the production, uses and functions of media discourses (van Dijk, 1985). In critically analysing various kinds of discourses that encode prejudice, van Dijk’s interest is in developing a theoretical model that will explain cognitive discourse processing mechanisms.  Most recently  van Dijk has focused on issues of racism and ideology (van Dijk, 1998).

By the end of the 1980s critical linguistics was able to describe its aims, research interests, chosen perspective and methods of analysis much more specifically and rigidly than hitherto. Wodak (1989) lists, explains and illustrates the most important characteristics of critical linguistic research as they had become established in continued research.  The relevance of investigating language use in institutional settings is reiterated, and a new focus on the necessity of a historical perspective is introduced (the discourse – historical approach). This was followed by a variety of research projects into discursive practices in institutional contexts that would assist in developing an integrated theory of critical discourse analysis.

Statement of the Subject: The fruitless study of language in isolation has led linguists to acknowledge the importance of considering social context in discourse analysis.  Deacon et al. (1999 : 147-8) propose : “Discourse conjoins language use as text and practices.  What we identify as ‘discourse’ and what we identify as ‘social’ are deeply intervened ... .  All talks, all texts, are social in nature.  Language is not some transparent medium through which we see the world”. They make the point that “the moving to discourse analysis enabled linguistics to tackle the structures of whole texts, rather than just the sentences, words and parts of words taken in isolation which it had to a great extent concentrated on previously” (Deacon et al., 1999 : 179). So, the analysis of discourse is, necessarily, the analysis of language in use and as such, it cannot be restricted to the description of linguistic forms independent of the purposes or functions which those forms are designed to serve in human affairs. 

Critical discourse analysis which this research work is based upon, analyses social interactions in a way which sets out to show up their generally hidden determinants in the system of social relationship as well as hidden effects they may have upon that system.  Critically study of language would place a broad conception of the social study of language at the core of language study.  Critical discourse analysis regards ‘language as social practice’ (Fairclough and Wodak, 1997), and takes consideration of the context of language use to be crucial (Wodak, 2000; Benke, 2000).  Moreover, critical discourse analysis takes a particular interest in the relation between language and power.

Fairclough and Wodak (1997) have put forward an eight-point programme to define critical discourse analysis as follows :

1.                 Critical discourse analysis addresses social problems.

2.                 Power relations are discursive.

3.                 Discourse constitutes society and culture.

4.                 Discourse does ideological work.

5.                 Discourse is historical.

6.                 The link between text and society is mediated.

7.                 Discourse analysis is interpretative and explanatory.

8.                 Discourse is a form of social action.

Interpretation of text and discourse is, therefore, interpretation of socially determined language, and this means being involved in understanding the processes, functions and meanings of social interaction, and as Birch (1989 : 153) claims, this means being involved in “politics of interaction”.  In this way the links between people and society are not arbitrary and accidental, but one institutionally determined.  Critical language study aims to select and deconstruct these links and to understand the nature of language and society and their mutual effect on each other.  Critical discourse analysis sees discourses as parts of social struggles, and contextualizes them in terms of broader (non-discoursal) struggles, and the effects of these struggles on structures.  It puts emphasis not only on the formal textual features of discourse but also on the social effects of discourse, on creativity, and on future.  On the other hand, through critical discourse analysis the analyst can show what power relationships determine discourses; these relationships are themselves the outcome of struggles, and are established (and, ideally, naturalized) by those with power.  It lays emphasis on the social determination of discourse, and on the past – on the results of past struggles.

The 7th presidential election in Iran took place following a series of happenings which in fact was the aftermath of social forces in a broader competition between ideology and culture.   This event was a turning point in the history of Iran because, for the first time two different discourse types, based on two different ideologies, faced and challenged with each other.  For the first time some slogans such as “civil society”, “liberalism”, “human rights”, “freedom of expression” etc. were brought up by the reformist party and these new concepts entered the current discourse of the society and somehow changed the social structure.  So in this research project critical discourse analysis will be used to describe the formal properties and features of these two discourses in Iran; to interpret the relationship between texts and interaction; to explain the relationship between interaction and social context and their social effects; to explore the relationship between language and ideology; and to illustrate the relationship between language and society and discourse and social structure in Iran.


TENTATIVE CHAPTER DIVISION

          Chapter one: Introduction contains the background of the study, statement of the subject, aims and objectives of the study, research methodology, data collection, primary and secondary sources of the study, significance of the study as well as limitations of the study.

          Chapter two : Review of Literature provides detailed definition of the concepts such as discourse, discourse analysis, critical discourse analysis, etc. and gives a brief overview to the approaches to discourse analysis. Then it proposes a systematic presentation of a procedure for critical discourse analysis. This chapter also sets out a view of the interrelationship of language and society, with the emphasis upon power and ideology.

          Chapter three : Discourse Analysis of the Reformist Party. In this chapter a critical linguistic analysis will be adopted to analyse linguistic features of the electoral speeches, debates and interviews as well as electoral statements of the reformist party, and to investigate the ideology behind the discourse of this party, and to explore the relationship between their language and power.

          Chapter four : Discourse Analysis of the Conservative Party brings into focus the formal textual features of the electoral statements, debates and speeches of the conservative party during the seventh presidential election in Iran and explores their ideological structures.

          Chapter five : Conclusions and Suggestions summarizes that language connects with the social through being the primary domain of ideology, and shows the links between linguistic features of electoral written texts and social, political and ideological structures, relations and processes they belong to.

SCHEME OF CHAPTERIZATION

Chapter One       :        Introduction

Chapter Two       :        Review of Literature

1.                 Definition of the concepts

2.                 History of discourse analysis

3.                 Approaches to discourse analysis

4.                 The relationship between language, power and ideology

Chapter Three     :        Discourse Analysis of the Reformist Party

1.                 Critical discourse analysis of electoral speeches

2.                 Critical discourse analysis of the electoral debates and interviews

3.                 Critical discourse analysis of the electoral statements

Chapter Four      :        Discourse Analysis of the Conservative Party

1.                 Critical discourse analysis of electoral speeches

2.                 Critical discourse analysis of the electoral debates and interviews

3.                 Critical discourse analysis of the electoral statements

Chapter Five       :        Conclusions and Suggestions

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ansari-Lari, E. (1997) Seventh Selection. Tehran: Hamshahri.

Bashiriyeh, H. (1999) State and Civil Society : Discourse of Political Sociology. Tehran : Naghd-o-Nazar.

Bazerman, C. (1990) “Discourse Analysis and Social Construction”.  Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. 11 : 77-83.

Benke, G. (2000)  “Diskursanalyse als sozialwissenschaftliche Untersuchungsmethode”. SWS Rundschau. 2 : 140-62.

Birch, D. (1989) Language, Literature and Critical Practice. London: Routledge.

Bourdieu, P. (1999) “Language and Symbolic Power”.  In A. Jaworski & K. Coupland (eds.) The Discourse Reader. London : Routledge.

Brown, G. & Yule, G. (1983). Discourse Analysis. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.

Carter, R., Goddard, A., Reah, D., Sanger, K. & Bowring, M. (1997) Working with Texts : A Core Book for Language Analysis.  New York: Routledge.

Chomsky, N (1957)  Syntactic Structures.  Gravenhage : Mouton.

Chouliaraki, L. & Fairclough, N. (1999) Discourse in Late Modernity: Rethinking Critical Discourse Analysis.  Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press.

Deacon, D., Pickering, M., Golding, P. & Murdock, G. (1999) Researching Communications: A practical Guide to Methods in Media and Cultural Analysis. London: Arnold.

de Beaugrande, R. A. & Dressler, W.U (1981)  Einfuhrung in die Textlinguistik.  Tubingen : Niemeyer.

Fairclough, N. & Wodak, R. (1997) “Critical Discourse Analysis”.  In T. van Dijk (ed.) Discourse studies : A Multidisciplinary Introduction. Vol. 2. London : Sage.

Fairclough, N. (1989)  Language and Power.  London : Longman.

Fairclough, N. (1992) Discourse and Social Change. Oxford: Blackwell.

Fairclough, N. (1995)  Critical Discourse Analysis : the Critical Study of Language.  London : Longman.

Fowler, R. (1985) “Power”.  In T. van Dijk (ed.) Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Vol. 4. New York : Academic Press.

Fowler, R. (1991) Language in News : Discourse and Ideology in Press.  London : Routledge.

Fowler, R., Hodge, G., Kress, G & Trew, T. (1979) (eds.)  Language and Control.  London : Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Gee, J. P. (1999)  An Introduction to Discourse Analysis Theory and Method.  London : Routledge.

Gholamrezakashi, M. J. (2000)  The Magic of Speech.  Tehran : Ayande Pooyan.

Gibbons, M. (1987) (ed.) Interpreting Politics.  Oxford : Basil Blackwell.

Hoey, M. (2001)  Textual Interaction : An Introduction to Written Discourse Analysis.  London : Routledge.

Hymes, D. (1972)  “Models of Interaction of Language and Social Life”.  In J. J. Gumperz & D. Hymes (eds.) Directions in Socioloingustics – The Ethnography of Communication.  New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Jaworski, A. & Coupland, N. (1999)  “Perspectives on Discourses Analysis”.  In A. Jaworski & N. Coupland (eds.) The Discourse Reader.  London : Routledge.

Kress, G. & Hodge, B. (1979)  Language and Ideology.  London : Routledge.

Kress, G. (1989)  “History and Language : Towards a Social Account of Linguistic Change”. Journal of Pragmatics. 13 (3) : 445-66.

Kress, G. (1990) “Critical Discourse Analysis”. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. 11 : 84-97.

Labov, W. (1972)  Language in the Inner City.  Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press.

Levinson, S. (1983)  Pragmatics.  Oxford : Oxford University Press.

Schiffrin, D. (1994) Approaches to Discourse.  Oxford : Blackwell.

Scollon, R. (2001)  “Action and Text : Towards an Integrated Understanding of Text in Social (Inter) Action, Mediated Discourse Analysis and the Problem of Social Action”.  In R. Wodak & M. Meyer (eds.)  Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis.  London : Sage.

Seidel, G. (1985) “Political Discourse Analysis”.  In T. van Dijk (ed.) Handbook of Discourse Analysis.  Vol. 4. London : Academic Press.

Simpson, P. (1993)  Language, Ideology and Point of View. London : Routledge.

van Dijk, T. & Kintsch, W. (1983) Strategies of Discourse Comprehension.  New York : Academic Press.

van Dijk, T. (1977) Text and Context : Exploration in the semantics and Pragmatics of Discourse.  London : Longman.

van Dijk, T. (1981) Studies in Pragmatics of Discourse.  The Hague / Berlin : Mauton.

van Dijk, T. (1985)  Handbook of Discourse Analysis. 4 vols.  New York: Academic Press.

van Dijk, T. (1986) Racism in the Press.  London : Arnold.

van Dijk, T. (1998) Ideology : A Multidisciplinary Approach.  London: Sage.

Wodak, R. & Meyer, M. (2001) (eds.)  Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis.  London : Sage.

Wodak, R. (1989) “Introduction”.  In R. Wodak (ed.) Language, Power and Ideology.  Amesterdam : Benjamins.

Wodak, R. (2000) “Does Sociolinguistics Need Social Theory?  New Perspective on Critical Discourse Analysis”.  Discourse & Society, 2 (3) : 123-147.

PERSONAL STATEMENT

          During the final year of M.A. in linguistics at the Department of Linguistics, the University of Delhi, we had fruitful discussions, under the supervision of Professor Agnihotri in our sociolinguistics classes, on how language in its everyday as well as professional usage enables us to understand issues of social concern. These discussions made me conscious to the relationship between language and power. Meanwhile I had the wonderful opportunity to attend in a course work chaired by Professor John Gumperz at the Department of Linguistics, the University of Delhi about theories and methods of discourse analysis. These provided an important stimulus for me to plan to work on the role of language in social life and since in the 7th presidential election in Iran two different discourses based on two different ideologies faced and challenged each other, I decided to work on the discourse analysis of this presidential election to show how language is theorized in relation to power and ideology?. How do powerful groups control public discourse? How does such discourse control mind and action of (less) powerful groups, and what are the social consequences of such control? and I hope at the end of this research project by answering at least to some of these questions, I could contribute to the development of this field.

Chapter Two

Conceptual Framework of Discourse

            The concept of discourse plays an increasingly significant role in contemporary social science. Although originating in disciplines such as linguistics and semiotics, it has been extended to many branches of the human and social sciences. Scholars in academic disciplines as diverse as anthropology, history and sociology psychoanalysis and social psychology; cultural, gender and post-colonial studies political science, public policy analysis, political theory and international relations, not to mention linguistics and literary theory, have used the concept of discourse to define and explain problems in their respective fields of study (Howarth 2002:1). Therefore, discourse is a difficult concept, largely because there are so many conflicting and overlapping definitions formulated from various theoretical and disciplinary standpoints (see van Dijk 1985a and Mcdonell 1986 for some range).

            Discourse is used across the social sciences in a variety of ways , often under the influence of Foucault. Discourse is used in a general sense for language (as well as , for instance , visual images) as an element of social life which is dialectically related to other elements. Discourse is also used more specifically : different discourses are different ways of representing aspects of the world.

          Fairclough (2003: 124) views discourses as a way of representing aspects of the world – the processes, relations and structures of the material word , the ‘mental world’ of thoughts, feelings beliefs and so forth, and the social world”. Particular aspects of the world may be represented differently, so we are generally in the position of having to consider the relationship between different discourses. Different discourses are different perspectives on the world, and they are associated with the different relations people have to the world , which in turn depends on their positions in the world, their social and personal identities , and the social relationships in which they stand to other people. Discourses not only represent the world as it is (or rather is seen to be) , they are also projective , imaginaries , representing possible worlds which are different from the actual world, and tied in to projects to change the world in particular directions. The relationships between different discourses are one element of the relationships between different people – they may complement one another, compete with one another, one can dominate others , and so forth. Discourses constitute part of the resources  which people deploy in relating to one anotherkeeping separate from one another, cooperating, competing, dominatingand in seeking to change the ways in which they relate to one another. 

            Coupland and Jaworski (2001: 148) combine two fundamental approaches to discourse : “as language–in- use and language use relative to social, political and cultural formulations - it is language reflecting social order but also language shaping social order, and shaping individuals' interaction with society". This is the key factor explaining why so many academic disciplines entertain the notion of discourse with such commitment. Discourse falls squarely within the interests not only of linguists, literary critics, critical theorists and communication scientists, but also of geographers, philosophers, political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, social psychologists, and many others. Despite important differences of emphasis, discourse is an inescapably important concept for understanding society and human responses to it, as well as for understanding language itself.

 

2.1.1.  DEFINING THE CONCEPT OF DISCOURSE:

            Originally, the term discourse came from Latin, discursus, meaning ‘to run', `to run on', ‘to run to and fro'. Historically, it has been applied more to rehearsed forms of spoken language like speeches, where people ‘run on' about a topic than to spontaneous speech. The modern meaning of discourse as encompassing all forms of talk has evolved because conversations, like formal speeches, `run'. This means that speakers make an effort to give their interactions shape and coherence not consciously, but as an integral part of co-operating with another speaker to make meaning. So when people refer to talk as discourse they are drawing attention to the way talk is crafted medium (Carter et al. 1997: 165-6).

            Twenty years ago, discourse had its traditional meaning: the ordered exposition in writing or speech of a particular subject, a practice familiarly associated with writers such as Descartes and Machiavelli. Recently the term has been used with increasing frequency and with new kinds of meaning, reflecting in part the effect on critical vocabulary of work done within and across the boundaries of various disciplines: linguistics, philosophy, literary criticism, history, psychoanalysis and sociology (Fowler 2001: 62). So much so that it is frequently left undefined, as if its usage are simply common knowledge. It is used widely in analysing literary and non-literary texts and it is often employed to signal a certain theoretical sophistication in ways that are vague and sometimes obfuscatory. It has perhaps the widest range of possible significations of any term in literary and cultural theory, and yet it is often the term within theoretical texts which is least defined. It is interesting therefore to trace the ways in which we try to make sense of the term. The most obvious way to track down its range of meanings is through consulting a dictionary1, but here the more general meanings of the term and its more theoretical usages seem to have become enmeshed, since the theoretical meanings always have an overlaying of the more general meanings (Mills, 1997: 1).

            This sense of the general usage of discourse as having to do with conversation and holding forth on a subject, or giving a speech, has been partly due to the etymology of the word. However, it has also been due to the fact that this is the core meaning of the term discours in French, and since the 1960s it is a word  which has been associated with French philosophical thought, even though the terms discours and discourse do not correspond to one another exactly. During the 1960s the general meaning of the term, its philosophical meaning and a new set of more theoretical meanings began to diverge slightly, but these more general meanings have always been kept in play, inflecting the theoretical meanings in particular ways.

            Within the theoretical range of meanings, it is difficult to know where or how to track down the meaning of discourse. Glossaries of theoretical terms are sometimes of help, but very often the disciplinary context in which the term occurs is more important in trying to determine which of these meanings is being brought into play. This research will try to map out the contexts within which the term discourse is used, in order to narrow down the range of possible meanings.

            In linguistics, as Fairclough (1992b) indicates, discourse is used to refer to extended samples of either spoken or written language. This sense of `discourse' emphasizes interaction between speaker and addressee or between writer and reader, and therefore processes of producing and interpreting speech and writing, as well as the situational context of language use. Discourse is also used for different types of language used in different sorts of social situation (e.g. newspaper discourse, advertising discourse, classroom discourse, the discourse of medical consultations).

          On the other hand, discourse is widely used in social theory and analysis, for example in the work of Michel Foucault, to refer to different ways of structuring areas of knowledge and social practice. Foucault (1984) treats discourse sometimes as the general domain of all statements, sometimes as an individualizable group of statements, and sometimes as a regulated practice that accounts for a number of statements. Discourses in this sense are manifested in particular ways of using language and other symbolic forms such as visual images (see Thompson 1990). Discourses do not just reflect or represent social entities and relations, they construct or `constitute' them (Fairclough 1992b: 3).

            Kress (1985b: 6-7) provides a very useful definition of the concept: "Institutions and social groupings have specific meanings and values which are articulated in language in systematic ways. Discourses are systematically-organized sets of statements which give expression to the meanings and values of an institution. Beyond that, they define, describe and delimit what it is possible to say and not possible to say (and by extension - what it is possible to do or not to do) with respect to the area of concern of that institution, whether marginally or centrally. A discourse provides a set of possible statements about a given area, and organizes and gives structure to the manner in which a particular topic, object, process is to be talked about. In that it provides descriptions, rules, permissions and prohibitions of social and individual actions".

            In McCarthy’s view point (2001: 48) ‘the study of discourse is the study of language independently of the notion of the sentence’. This usually involves studying longer (spoken and written) texts but, above all, it involves examining the relationship between a text and the situation in which it occurs.

            From another point of view Schiffrin (1994) categorizes the definition of discourse in three groups:

1. Discourse as language above the sentence: The classic definition of discourse as derived from formalist (in Hymes's 1974b terms, "structural") assumptions is that discourse is "language above the sentence or above the clause" (Stubbs 1983: 1). Van Dijk (1985c: 4) suggests : "Structural descriptions characterize discourse at several levels or dimensions of analysis and in terms of many different units, categories, schematic patterns, or relations". Despite the diversity of structural approaches noted by van Dijk, there is a common core: structural analyses focus on the way different units function in relation to each other (a focus shared with structuralism in general (e.g. Levi-Strauss 1967; Piaget 1970), but they disregard "the functional relations with the context of which discourse is a part" (van Dijk 1985c: 4). Since it is precisely this relationship between discourse and the context of which discourse is a part that characterizes functional analyses, it might seem that the two approaches have little in common.

            Structurally based analyses of discourse find ‘constituents’ (smaller linguistic units) that have particular ‘relationships’ with one another and that can occur in a restricted number of (often rule-governed) ‘arrangements’ (see Grimes 1975, Stubbs 1983, Chap. 5). In many structural approaches, discourse is viewed as a level of structure higher than the sentence, or higher than another unit of text. Harris (1952) - the first linguist to refer to "discourse analysis" claimed explicitly that discourse is the next level in a hierarchy of morphemes, clauses, and sentences. Harris viewed discourse analysis procedurally as a formal methodology, derived from structural methods of linguistic analysis: such a methodology could break a text down into relationships (such as equivalence, substitution) among its lower-level constituents. Structure was so central to Harris's view of discourse that he also argued that what opposes discourse to a random sequence of sentences is precisely the fact that it has structure: a pattern by which segments of the discourse occur (and recur) relative to each other (Schiffrin 1994: 23-4).

2. Discourse as language use: According to Fasold (1990: 65) the study of discourse is "the study of any aspect of language use". Another statement of this view of discourse is Wodak's (2001b: 66): "Discourse can be understood as a complex bundle of simultaneous and sequential interrelated linguistic acts, which manifest themselves within and across the social fields of action as thematically interrelated semiotic, oral or written tokens, very often as texts, that belong to specific semiotic types, that is genres.... Discourses are open and hybrid and not closed systems at all".

            As these views make clear, the analysis of language use (see Saussure's parole, 1959) cannot be independent of the analysis of the purposes and functions of language in human life. This view reaches an extreme in the work of critical language scholarship, i.e. the study of language, power, and ideology. Fairclough , for example, advocates a dialectical conception of language and society whereby "language is a part of society; linguistic phenomena are social phenomena of a special sort, and social phenomena are (in part) linguistic phenomena"(1989: 23). In Fairclough's view, language and society partially constitute one another - such that the analysis of language as an independent (autonomous) system would be a contradiction in terms2 (see also Foucault 1982, Grimshaw 1981). Even in less extreme functionalist views, however, discourse is assumed to be interdependent with social life, such that its analysis necessarily intersects with meanings, activities, and systems outside of itself.3

            A definition of discourse as language use is consistent with functionalism in general: discourse is viewed as a system (a socially and culturally organized way of speaking) through which particular functions are realized. Although formal regularities may very well be examined, a functionalist definition of discourse leads analysts away from the structural basis of such regularities to focus, instead, on the way patterns of talk are put to use for certain purposes in particular contexts and/or how they result from the application of communicative strategies. Functionally based approaches tend to draw upon a variety of methods of analysis, often including not just quantitative methods drawn from social scientific approaches, but also more humanistically based interpretive efforts to replicate actors' own purposes or goals. Not surprisingly, they rely less upon the strictly grammatical characteristics of utterances as sentences, than upon the way utterances are situated in contexts.4

3. Discourse as utterances: This view captures the idea that discourse is above (larger than) other units of language; however, by saying that utterance (rather than sentence) is the smaller unit of which discourse is comprised, we can suggest that discourse arises not as a collection of decontextualized units of language structure, but as a collection of inherently contextualized units of language use.

            A definition of utterances implies several goals of discourse analysis. First is what we might call syntactic goals, or more appropriately for discourse analysis, sequential goals: are there principles underlying the order in which one utterance, or one type of utterance, follows another? Second is what might be called semantic and pragmatic goals: how does the organization of discourse, and the meaning and use of particular expressions and constructions within certain contexts, allow people to convey and interpret the communicative content of what is said? How does one utterance (and the sequential relationship between utterances) influence the communicative content of another? Thus, defining discourse as utterances seems to balance both the functional emphasis on how language is used in context and the formal emphasis on extended patterns (Schiffrin 1994: 41).

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