DOI: 10.1177/0957926593004002006 ISSN:

Principles of Critical Discourse Analysis

Teun A. van Dijk
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication

This paper discusses some principles of critical discourse analysis, such as the explicit sociopolitical stance of discourse analysts, and a focus on dominance relations by elite groups and institutions as they are being enacted, legitimated or otherwise reproduced by text and talk. One of the crucial elements of this analysis of the relations between power and discourse is the patterns of access to (public) discourse for different social groups. Theoretically it is shown that in order to be able to relate power and discourse in an explicit way, we need the `cognitive interface' of models, knowledge, attitudes and ideologies and other social representations of the social mind, which also relate the individual and the social, and the micro- and the macro-levels of social structure. Finally, the argument is illustrated with an analysis of parliamentary debates about ethnic affairs.

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