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Language and Institutional Encounters: Hidden Power

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Presentation on theme: "Language and Institutional Encounters: Hidden Power"— Presentation transcript:

1 Language and Institutional Encounters: Hidden Power
The idea of power behind discourse is that the whole social order of discourse is put together and held together as hidden effect of power (Fairclough, 2001: 46).

2 Status and Authority Not neutral forces of nature
Produced and reproduced: --coercion and consent Discourse agent of ideology Discourse and social control

3 Institutional Settings and Discourse
Educational, health, judiciary, the media, etc. Transmit and maintain societal structures Involves participants separated in place and time Involves hidden power relations

4 Differences: face-to-face discourse and media discourse
1. One-sided nature of media discourse --sharp division: producer and audience( interpreter) --no room for contestation 2. Lack of close interaction in media discourse --adaptability of face-to-face discourse --mass media design for mass audiences

5 Why do we need to understand media discourse?
Influence of media unquestionable Construct and reconstruct particular realities Aura of partiality of media is deceiving Expressed bias: they highlight some items and ignore others

6 The assumption of neutrality: Media Discourse
TV Sustained by form and content Form: familiarity Familiarity creates a sense of trust Printed Media Neutrality by anonymity Language control: institutional control Language devices: nouns, verbs, etc

7 Syntactic Constructions and Media Discourse
Agents of actions and subjects Example: --Anna ate a pizza --The pizza was eaten by Anna Shifting focus from agent of action to recipient of action --The pizza was eaten

8 Two headlines: The Times and the Guardian
RIOTING BLACKS SHOT DEAD BY POLICE AS ANC LEADERS MEET Eleven Africans were shot dead and 15 wounded when Rhodesian police opened fire on a rioting crowd of about 2,000 in the African Highfield township of Salisbury this afternoon. POLICE SHOOT 11 DEAD IN SALISBURY RIOT Riot police shot and killed 11 African demonstrators and wounded 15 others here today in the Highfield township on the outskirts of Salisbury.

9 TV, Film Similar hidden messages Focus on particular topics
Sounds influences moods Organization of images

10 Summary The nature of mass media is often not clear
There are differences between face-to-face interactions Lack of feedback Media discourse designed with mass audiences in mind: construction of ideal subject Involves grammatical constructions, vocabulary and language

11 Study Questions

12 Guardian

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