Critical Discourse Analysis


Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is a social scientific theory and method for analyzing and critiquing the use of language and its contribution to forming and sustaining social practice and for analysis of how language can contribute to reproducing or transforming social problems. CDA adopts the position that the analysis of how language is used can be a way in to, or complementary to, an interdisciplinary critique of events or social practices. The use of language may be an indicator of a more extensive problem, or it might be implicated in reproducing a problematic social practice. This entry examines some of the core concepts which inform the methods of CDA and describe analytical methods associated with each concept. It begins with an overview of the concepts which underpin the critical and analytical methods of CDA: critical analysis, social practices, social and historical context, dialectical relations, power and ideology, and the conceptual distinction of text, discourse, and language. It goes on to describe the major analytical concepts of CDA with subsections on text, discourse, and orders of discourse. The final section discusses further implications of the CDA method for engaging in full research projects: data collection, tools for handling data analysis, interpretation, and interdisciplinary working.

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