inter-related dimensions of discourse.
Figure 2-1. Fairclough´s diagram for discourse and discourse analysis
As seen in the above figure, the first dimension illustrates the discourse fragment, which is the object of analysis and includes verbal, visual or verbal and visual texts. The second dimension to Fairclough’s model for discourse is the aspect of context and the location where struggles over power relations in discourse occur. This dimension is attributed also to the processes by which an object is produced and received (writing/speaking/designing and reading/listening/viewing) . The third discourse dimension is described as power hidden behind discourse or as social practices, because it contains the socio-historical circumstances that rule these processes.
2-6-1-1 The level of text analysis
The first level of analysis proposed in Fairloughian CDA is related to linguistics which is the linguistic description of texts. Some of the elements of Fairclough’s model has changed over time but certain basic assumptions have mostly remained unmodified which are outlined here. First, the concept of text in Fairclough’s model consists of language which is produced as written material which is intended for reading. But the recent view about discourse is that it is not only the language above the sentence level but also more than language in use (Fairclough, 1989). Moreover, as argued by Fairclough texts are products of the discourse process. This places them in between actual text production and text reception/ interpretation, giving the analyst an opportunity to go back, as it were, from his own interpretation of a text in order to see what motivations or in the case of CDA, social structures and practices has influenced its beginning. Thus the negotiation of the meaning(s) of a text is seen as an interplay between its production, the text itself, and its interpretation (Fairclough, 1995); or, to make a rough generalization, its context, linguistic forms, and whatever comments are possible to make about text reception and considered necessary for the purposes of the research.
The idea of doing linguistic analysis of texts to get relevant insights into the nature of society is the main part of Faircloughian CDA: formal properties of texts seems are traces of production and serve as clues that shows how to interpret these texts (Fairclough, 1989). In other words, texts are full of presuppositions, implicit or explicit world views and so on and so forth. On the whole, the basis for Fairclough’s key questions for text analysis is followings: In simple terms one has systematically to examine (1989): 1. Lexicalization, 2. Patterns of transitivity, 3.The use of active and passive voice, 4.The use of nominalization 5.The choices of mood, 6. The choices of modality or polarity, 7. The thematic structure of the text, 8. The information focus, 9. The cohesion devices.
2-6-1-2 The level of discourse/social practice
This discourse level aims at filling the gap between textual analysis and social factors (Fairclough, 1989). Linguistic or grammatical analysis of a text, despite its apparent complexity, is easy to understand. The higher and lower levels of the model have to be modified due to its fuzziness. However, Fairclough’s model has some unchangeable points at this level too. According to Fairclough, society has three levels which include: the highest level is social structures. The second highest level belongs to social practices, events and situations. And the lowest level is deep structures that operates as a network of choices, which set the potential for what is probable and what is not in a certain society, the level of social practices includes the various institutions (i.e. political, spiritual, educational, familial etc.) of that society and constrain what potential becomes actualized, and social events or situations are then the concrete manifestations of the actualized potentials. These could include meetings, church services, interviews and family gatherings.
2-7. Principles of critical discourse analysis
There is a common belief among scholars that CDA cannot be classified as a single method but is viewed as an approach consisting of different methods for studying the relationship between language and social context.
The prominent scholars of the field each have their own principles for CDA. But the most cited principles are Fairclough and Wodak’s (1997), eight principles summarized as follows:
• CDA addresses social problems. It focuses on language and language use as well as linguistic characteristics of “social and cultural processes”. CDA is an endeavor elucidating hidden power relations in texts (Fairclough & Wodak, 1997, p. 268).
• Power relations are discursive, i.e. CDA explains how social relations of power are practiced and negotiated in discourse.
• Discourse comprises society and culture, i.e. every piece of language use “makes its own contribution to reproducing and transforming society and culture, including relations of power” (Fairclough, 1992, p. 63).
• Discourse does ideological work, i.e. ideologies are produced through discourse (Fairclough & Wodak, 1997).
• Discourse is history. Discourses, therefore, can only be interpreted with regard to their historical context (Fairclough & Wodak, 1997).
• The link between text and society is mediated and CDA, therefore, makes connections between sociocultural processes and structures on the one hand and properties of texts on the other (Fairclough & Wodak, 1997).
• CDA is interpretative and explanatory. These interpretations and explanations are “dynamic and open” and are under the influence of new readings and new contextual information (Wei, 2006). This process is referred to by Meyer as a hermeneutic process (see Meyer, 2001).
• CDA, therefore, is a form of social action which aims at revealing “opaqueness and power relations” and attempts to change the communicative and “socio-political” practices (Fairclough & Wodak, 1997).
2-8. Power and Discourse
There’s a distinction between power in discourse and power behind discourse in Norman Fairclough’s approach toward discourse and power (1989). As a form of social practice, power in discourse is exercised in numerous methods. For instance in the face-to-face meets or in the discourse presented in the media. It is the power behind that discourse that explains the order of social practices. Social practices are themselves shaped and determined by power relations, Power has several other effects on discourse which include naturalization or conventions connected with a discourse type, and the restraints on access to discourses within an order of discourse (Fairclough, 1992). One more fact about power is that it is not always held in the hands of one party or an individual group, it is rather won and exercised through struggles in the society in which power is passed from one group to another.
Almost every word and phrase we use is taken from words and phrases we have heard or seen before. We put those words together and make original sentences and paragraphs and our originality is affected by the way we put those words together in new ways to fit our specific needs and purposes. Often we do not call attention to where specifically we got our words from. Often the words we use are so common they seem to come from everywhere. But the fact is that we do it so to confirm, reject or criticize an idea, saying, etc. The relationship between the sentences, words, phrases we use is called intertextuality. Analyzing the links between these those elements are called intertextual analysis which helps us understand the meaning of the text more deeply. In fact:
We create our texts out of the sea of former texts that surround us, the sea of language we live in. And we understand the texts of others within that same sea. Sometimes as writers we want to point to where we got those words from and
sometimes we don’t. Sometimes as readers we consciously recognize where the words and ways of using words come from and at other times the origin just provides an unconsciously sensed undercurrent. And sometimes the words are so mixed and dispersed within the sea, that they can no longer be associated with a particular time, place, group, or writer. Nonetheless, the sea of words always surrounds every text (Bazerman & Prior, 2008, pp. 83-84).
Intertextuality is the view of reading and writing texts “as a way of looking at a text’s interactions with prior texts, writers, readers, and conventions” (Wei, 2006). Intertextuality is defined as “the relationship between one literary text and other texts that may also include non-literary elements such as film, visual arts, biography and music” (Loeb, 2002, p. 44). Some scholars have studied and provided theories in this area. Among them is Bakhtin (as cited in Wei, 2006, p.73) who argues that “every text is dialogical, in the sense that it gains its meaning in relation to other texts”. It must be remembered that any intertextual phrase, sentence appearing in another text has been “edited, selected, transformed, and even distorted by the writer” (Loeb, 2002) in line with the ideology of that writer. Scholars in different fields consider the concept from different perspectives. These scholars can be categorized into two groups: semiotics scholars and critical discourse analysts. Since we deal in this thesis mostly with critical discourse analysis, the semiotic scholars are not discussed here (for more information on this group of scholars see van Dijk, 1993).
2-9-1. Intertextuality from critical discourse analysis perspective
Wodak and Ludwig (1999) believe that discourse “is always historical, that is, it is connected synchronically and diachronically with other communicative events which are happening at the same time or which have happened before” (p. 12). This is what we mean by intertextuality in textual analysis. And intertextual analysis, according to Fairclough (as cited in Sheyholislami, 2001), is focused upon the borderline between “text and discourse practice.” Scholars in different fields consider the notion of intertextuality from different perspectives for different purposes. It is, in the same way as discourse analysis is an interdisciplinary concept; and is used in a variety of fields such as cinema, painting, architecture, history, literature etc.
Fairclough (2005), regarding intertextuality and discourse analysis, believes “intertextual analysis links the text and discourse practice, and shows where a text is located with respect to the social network of orders of discourse” (p. 10).
2-10.Discourse, Cognition, and Society
Van Dijk (1998) argues social structures and discourse structures are not connected to each other through personal and social cognition. According to him, the personal and social cognition is the lost piece of the puzzle to many critical linguistic theories and CDA analyses which could be filled with the triangle of society, cognition, and discourse.
Though Van Dijk put a great emphasis on cognition, CDA needs merely linguistic foundations as well as cognitive foundations since the nature of discourse is lingual. In the triangle proposed by Van Dijk discourse is taken as a communicative event that comprises written text, oral interactions , pictures, body movements, , and other semiotic signifiers. By cognition we mean personal and social cognition, opinions, objectives, standards, feelings, and other mental structures. And society contains both local micro structures and political, social and universal macro structures which could be well-defined in terms of groups and their relationships like dominance and inequality. In this triangle social and cognitive dimensions are considered for defining the context of discourse. Context is of two types: micro and macro.