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Research on Language and Social Interaction Critical Discourse Analysis at the End of the 20th Century PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE

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Research on Language and Social Interaction Critical Discourse Analysis at the End of the 20th Century PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE
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  This article was downloaded by: [Stockholm University Library]On: 13 November 2013, At: 02:35Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH,UK Research on Language andSocial Interaction Publication details, including instructions forauthors and subscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/hrls20 Critical Discourse Analysis atthe End of the 20th Century Ruth WodakPublished online: 22 Jun 2011. To cite this article:  Ruth Wodak (1999) Critical Discourse Analysis at the End of the20th Century, Research on Language and Social Interaction, 32:1-2, 185-193, DOI:10.1080/08351813.1999.9683622 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08351813.1999.9683622 PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLETaylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all theinformation (the “Content”) contained in the publications on our platform.However, Taylor & Francis, our agents, and our licensors make norepresentations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness,or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and viewsexpressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, andare not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of theContent should not be relied upon and should be independently verified withprimary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for anylosses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages,and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly orindirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of theContent.This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes.Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan,sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is  expressly forbidden. Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found athttp://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions    D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   S   t  o  c   k   h  o   l  m    U  n   i  v  e  r  s   i   t  y   L   i   b  r  a  r  y   ]  a   t   0   2  :   3   5   1   3   N  o  v  e  m   b  e  r   2   0   1   3  Critical Discourse Analysis at theEnd of the 20th Century  Ruth Wodak  Department of LinguisticsUniversity of Vienna We live in a fast-moving world where many important characteristicsof societies are changing everyday. Space and time have become unstablethrough technologization and globalization (Harvey, 1996). One couldthink of the world as becoming smaller, with national boundaries havingdissolved or being in the process of dissolving. People have to learn howto cope with supranational identities and totally different political andeconomic organizations.In this changing world, many new social problems arise that demandunderstanding. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) offers a program forresearch on such socially relevant phenomena. In this short article, I definethe most prominent aspects of CDA and discuss how such a researchprogram enables us to cope with the changes in our societies. I alsoidentify some social problems deserving investigation, illustrating oneproject underway in the recently formed Research Center in Vienna,Austria, on “Discourse, Politics, and Identity.”  Research on Language and Social Interaction, 32 (1&2), 185–193Copyright © 1999, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.Correspondence concerning this article should be sent to Ruth Wodak, Department of Linguistics, University of Vienna, Berggasse II/l/3, A-1090 Wien, Austria. E-mail: Ruth@ling.univie.ac.at    D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   S   t  o  c   k   h  o   l  m    U  n   i  v  e  r  s   i   t  y   L   i   b  r  a  r  y   ]  a   t   0   2  :   3   5   1   3   N  o  v  e  m   b  e  r   2   0   1   3  CDA CDA 1 isnotahomogeneoustheorywithasetofclearanddefinedtools;rather, it is a research program with many facets and numerous differenttheoretical and methodological approaches (see Fairclough & Wodak,1997; Wodak 1996a, 1996b). The term  critical  has been misunderstoodwidely (see Widdowson, 1998).  Critical  does not mean detecting only thenegative sides of social interaction and processes and painting a black andwhitepictureofsocieties.Quitetothecontrary: Critical meansdistinguish-ing complexity and denying easy, dichotomous explanations. It meansmaking contradictions transparent. Moreover,  critical  implies that a re-searcher is self-reflective while doing research about social problems.Researchers choose objects of investigation, define them, and evaluatethem. They do not separate their own values and beliefs from the researchthey are doing; recognizing, as Jürgen Habermas (1967) convincinglyshowed many years ago, that researchers’ own interests and knowledgeunavoidably shape their research. Taking such a position implies thatresearchers must be constantly aware of how they are analyzing andinterpreting. They also need to keep a distance from their topic; otherwise,their research turns into political action (which is, of course, not in itself abad thing) or becomes an attempt to prove what the researcher alreadybelieves. The data need to be allowed to speak for themselves. Thus, CDArequires a constant balancing between theory and empirical phenomena.Analyses should neither be purely inductive nor deductive, but abductive,inwhichanalystsareexplicitaboutwhattheyareactuallydoing.Thismeansthat members of a culture (including researchers) will work to understandtheir own culture and, rather than pronouncing truths, propose interpreta-tions and solutions to perceived problems.Such an approach in Linguistics and Communication Studies alsoentails a certain notion of language: language as social, as meaningful,and as always embedded in a social context and history. Language is notan isolated phenomenon; language is deeply social, intertwined with socialprocesses and interaction (Wodak, 1996a). This view of language leadsus back to Wittgenstein’s (1967) “language game.”If language is seen as action in a social context, then certain conse-quences follow. First, interaction always involves power and ideologies.No interaction exists in which power relations do not prevail and in whichvalues and norms do not have a relevant role. Second,  discourse,  used 186 Ruth Wodak     D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   S   t  o  c   k   h  o   l  m    U  n   i  v  e  r  s   i   t  y   L   i   b  r  a  r  y   ]  a   t   0   2  :   3   5   1   3   N  o  v  e  m   b  e  r   2   0   1   3  here synonymously with  interaction  (see Weiss & Wodak, 1998), isalways historical, connected synchronically and diachronically with othercommunicative events that are happening at the same time or that havehappened before. This phenomenon, known as “intertextuality,” impliescertain research strategies and methodologies (see  discourse-historicalmethodology  later). Another important characteristic of discourse is re-contextualization, the reference and dynamic reformulation of argumentsand topoi from one context to another (Bernstein, 1990; Iedema, 1997).Third, and related, each communicative event allows numerous in-terpretations, linked to the positions of the readers’, listeners’, or viewers’respective contexts and levels of information. Interpretations that theresearchers put forward also are laden with certain beliefs and knowledge.A “right” interpretation does not exist and a hermeneutic approach isnecessary. Interpretations can be more or less plausible or adequate, butthey cannot be “true.” Moreover, CDA does not stop once it has analyzeda problem. Rather, it attempts to intervene into social processes by pro-posing verbally and in writing possible changes that could be implementedby practitioners. The commitment of CDA to developing solutions re-quires it to be in constant dialogue with practitioners from differentprofessions and fields.I could go on into more detail about other important aspects of CDA(mediation, language description, etc.), but I would like to emphasize thatthese criteria are by far the most important. A last aspect must bementioned here: Doing research in a problem-oriented way, trying tounderstand and explain social interaction, also implies an interdisciplinaryapproach and framework. Social problems are too complex to be analyzed just linguistically or historically. Teamwork and multidisciplinary theoriesand methods are necessary in critical research. THE DISCOURSE-HISTORICAL APPROACH To study and grasp the complexity of social problems, we havedeveloped the discourse-historical methodology in the first project con-cerned with anti-Semitic discourse during the “Waldheim Affair” inAustria in 1986 (Wodak, 1997a; Wodak et al., 1990; Wodak & Ma-touschek, 1993; Wodak & Reisigl, in press-a). The main aim of the Critical Discourse Analysis 187    D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   S   t  o  c   k   h  o   l  m    U  n   i  v  e  r  s   i   t  y   L   i   b  r  a  r  y   ]  a   t   0   2  :   3   5   1   3   N  o  v  e  m   b  e  r   2   0   1   3
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