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Towards a theory and framework of contextualisation: media discourse on French urban violence.

Costelloe, Laura (2011) Towards a theory and framework of contextualisation: media discourse on French urban violence. In: 4th International ‘Language in the Media’ Conference., 6-8 June 2011, University of Limerick, Ireland.. (Submitted)

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The events that took place in the banlieues during November 2005 mark a significant flashpoint in the long-running history of tensions between French minority groups and those in power. Recognising the active role of the media in social processes, and in constituting and shaping reality, Critical Discourse Analytical (CDA) methods offer the analyst strategies for uncovering the representation of power structures in media texts, by not merely identifying instances of prejudicial discourse but also highlighting how largely covert structures of power and dominance can be disguised in ostensibly neutral discourse. Discourse analytical approaches emphasise the crucial and central role of context in any understanding of language, however the issue of context is seen as arguably the biggest methodological issue faced in CDA (Blommaert & Bulcaen, 2000: 460). The notion of context is particularly interesting for the current study as the events being considered have complex socio-cultural, historical and political roots.

This paper contributes to challenging the notion of context in linguistic analysis, and argues that phrases such as „background facts‟ or „historical overview‟ are insufficient. It will address questions regarding the scope and possible limits for the analyst in establishing a thorough contextualisation of an event and attempt to consider how the contextualisation of French urban violence can be achieved within a CDA framework. Different models will be evaluated and considered with regard to their contribution to the area of context, and proposals will be made for an original contextualisation framework for use in CDA. The difficulties posed by the contextualisation of the case study will be highlighted by reference to the corpus of newspaper texts created for analysis, and some preliminary findings of the critical discourse analysis will be discussed

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DC France
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races > Immigrant Communities
Divisions: School of Business > Staff Research and Publications
Depositing User: Timothy Lawless
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2014 14:48
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2014 15:37

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