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The advantages of using CDA

  • 11 Pages
  • Published On: 05-12-2023

According to Baker (2006), undertaking the strategies of linguistic discourse analysis is beneficial for reducing the drawbacks of addressing the difficulties of CDA. Hence, articular discourse analysis is mandatory to be developed through CDA. The corpus under linguistic analysis is also helpful for the researchers to identify the discourses and acknowledge the patterns of worlds spread throughout different language. For individual discourse, language is one of the major factors for developing particular CDA practice and the discourse analysis in this regard is useful to offer insights into the resistance and changing discourses. The researchers focus on qualitative research for in-depth analysis and evaluation of CDA program and it is beneficial for investigation. CDA lays a crucial role in the social and political context and it further helps to develop the study with broader and robust context. Baker (2010) further stated that, corpus-based analysis is effective for further discourse analysis and it further improves the small scale of qualitative analysis. It is also laying an important role to develop tools, techniques and suitable practices to include the media reports for further in depth analysis (Haider, 2016, p. 67).

Van Dijk's ideological square of CDA as analytical framework for analysis


Teun A. van Dijk developed the ideological square model which is effective for polarising the macro strategy of the study. The macro strategy of positive in group and negative representatives are also important and fruitful for this particular study (van Dijk 1998, 2004, 2006). Accordingly, as stated by, van Dijk (1998, 2004, 2006), this analytical tool is well executed in the context of political discourse to explore and highlight the polarization of ‘in-group favouritism’ vs. ‘out-group’. The media outlets further represent the discourse in a polarization in terms of a specific group or party as the ‘in-group’. Several recent studies (Reynolds 2018); (Adegojuand Oyebode 2015); (Cabrejas-Peñuelas and Díez-Prados 2014); and, (Mazid 2008) suggested that, this approach is relevant and suitable for in depth analysing for exploring the actual discourse in the political, social and media domains. It also provides a scope to construct polarization of ‘in-group favouritism’ vs. ‘out-group’ on the basis of ideological conflicts. Van Dijk’s ideological square emphasizes the in-group’s ‘good’ points and highlights the Other’s ‘bad’ points; It further de-emphasizes the ‘bad’ points of the in-group and 'the allies’, while de-emphasizing the Other’s ‘good’ points. This is examined through investigating the discursive categories of the discourse within the ideological dichotomy in terms of lexicalization and rhetoric. The ideological square thus not only reinforces this research study’s epistemic underpinning of the ‘in-group and out-group’ schema, but also provides a basis for the investigation of the schema with a series of discursive strategies through which the polarization schema is operationalized in language. Thus, ideology is not just a mass of ideas or views, but is somehow a mental representation of a media grouping or as polarization of in-group and out-group (allies as revolutionaries and freedom fighters vs. the opponents as militias acting like ragtag fighting groups). There are four media outlets with the principles of CDA for identifying the discourses. Media outlets hereby represent prominent activities for translations and manipulations in the incident in reality. Therefore, the theoretical model of van Dijk ideological square is an effective framework which can be categorized according to the ideological variations. This model also provides a scope to develop ideological discursive strategies. This model is hereby utilised for ideological analysis and this model enhances the usefulness of the discourse analysis. According to Van Dijk various ideologies can also be expressed in various kinds of structures. For representing the media reports and activities, the two fundamental macro strategies are utilised for further analysis of the Libyan civil war: in-group favouritism or in-group positive representation vs. out-group negative representations.

According to van Dijk's ideological discourse analysis (2004) “ideological discourse will typically be semantically oriented towards specific topics, local meanings and implications”. According to van Dijk (2004), 'a variety of discursive structures may be utilized to express ideological beliefs' and the socio- personal views revealed through them. The general strategy of all ideology, as defined here revolves around positive ingroup presentation and negative other-presentation. – that is to set at the core of this approach is the polarisation between in-group and out-group schemata, which is established through positive in-group favouritism description and negative out-group description. As in van Dijk's ideological notion, the underlying political ideologies are typically expressed in political discourse by emphasizing in-group good things (in-group favouritism) and the Other bad things (out-group), and by de-emphasizing Our bad things (in-group) and their good things (out-group). This is an effective categorization of the fundamental strategies that can be implemented at all levels of discourse which are materialized through other discursive moves and strategies. These discursive moves within the ideological polarizations tend to be expressed in many ways, including lexical choices, hyperbole, euphemisms and derogation.

Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is mainly a qualitative and theoretical approach which is effective to investigate different ideology, domination of speech, general writing and power. CDA is also informed by several philosophical propositions, which includes the Frankfurt School in the 1930s, Decisionism (Hammersley 1997), Marxism (Van Dijk 1993, Hammersley 1997) and the universal pragmatics of Habermas (Hammersley 1997, Menz 1989). CDA mainly provides a scope to explore deep insights about construction of social, political, ideological and sociological features. Media texts in terms of socio-cultural and linguistic approach are also fruitful to acknowledge a diverse range of knowledge and activities related to political discourse and ideologies. For better understanding, macro through micro-structure of social organization and interaction provide different ideologies which in turn helps to conduct in depth discourse analysis related to power structure and political activities. The media text is hereby important to understand the role of the language and discourse the development of the ideological perspectives (Van Dijk 1987, p. 15–24). There is critical analysis on linguistic and CDA through the study of portrayal of ideology in media texts (Fowler 1991, Hodge and Kress 1993, Fairclough 1995, Van Dijk 1997). The major theoretical tool utilised here is ideological square that has been originated with social identity theory and psychological practices in society (Van Dijk, 1997).the ideological square is hereby beneficial to explore different theoretical perspectives related to socio cultural ideologies in the society. Group categorisation is hereby beneficial for the media and political people to categorise one from another through comparative and normative fit of the categories within the social and political context. Hence, the social categorisation is beneficial to identify the similarities and differences between diverse ideologies, social and cultural activities in the society.

The application of the categorisation in the society can be conducted through the individual aim and motivation. The categorisation further help to create inter group relationship among the individuals and it leads to the diversification among the in group activities as compared to the out-group associations. As per the value of dimensions, In-group bias and hyperbole are created in the society according to the different factors of in-group activities. The individuals construct different presentations related to diverse culture and different features of each group in the society. There is the tendency to differentiate between the inter group and in group perspectives as well as explore the in group and out group differences. Thus, it is possible to develop in depth analysis about the similarities and differences between the in-group and out-group activities further. As per the stereotype, it is considered that the in group activities are positive in the society and on the other hand, the characteristics of the out group activities are considered to be negatively portrayed in the society. Hence, there are several negative implications among the social group and their perspectives in which one group is systematically treated more favourably than others and these activities further raise the issue of cultural diversity in the society leading to internal conflicts and problems in maintaining harmony in the society.

In the different ideology of the social group, the stereotype has been incorporated as per the language, political power and social factors which may polarise the superior to the out-group. The attitude of favours and un-favours can also be analysed through different stereotype which is reflected though the individual’s culture and demographic background. The in group members are represented as superior to the out group members. Hence, diverse ideologies mainly develop the issue of internal conflicts and problems among the social groups due to diversity in culture, language and individual demographic background. The ideological analysis is hereby creating social conflicts and diversity in the individual’s perspectives. Group polarisation is hereby critical aspects where the individuals try to diversify the social culture and language of different people in the society. The individuals are concerned about the socio culturally valued ole of the attitudinal dimensions as well as publicity in the society.

Through in group categorisation refers to group generation, where it is possible to polarise the in group from the non-in-group members. Ideologically, social group construction and ideological perspectives can be developed through this analysis, where it is possible to define position of in-group and non-in-group members in the society. There are four principles of ideological perspectives where communication is also playing a crucial role for developing different language and discourse of articular speech. Ideological square is represented and developed by Van Dijk (2000a, p. 44), which can be discussed further for in depth analysis and evaluation of diverse ideological principles.

(1) express/emphasize information that is positive about ingroup

(2) express/emphasize information that is negative about outgroup

(3) suppress/de-emphasize information that is positive about outgroup and

(4) suppress/deemphasize information that is negative about our favourite group.

Van Dijk’s (2000a, p. 44) ideological square contributes to polarization of in-groups versus out-groups to represent our group or allies favourably but the Other unfavourably. Van Dijk (2000a, 2004) has proposed categories of ideological analysis conducive to the representation of ingroup versus the Other which some of them such as lexicalization, which is the expression of lexical items creating an overall ideological strategy for positive ingroup presentation vs. negative other- presentation. There are positive in group presentation and on the other side negative presentation to other group and the four moves restructure the ideological square. The presentations allow the individuals to participate in the social grow as per the property of ideologies. The concept of the ideological square can be presented in the different political topics (van Dijk, 1997). Politically- and ideologically based opinions and attitudes care also crucial for the politicians and organizations as well as public figures. The evaluations are always polarized where the standpoints of the in-group are also represented as altruistic while those of the opponents as egoistic (Van Dijk 1997, p. 29 - 30). Thus, the polarization through categorizing people in in-group and out-group and assigning good attributes to ingroup and bad attributes to outgroup can also be in the rhetoric of Hyperbole, Derogation, or Euphemism as we will see in next analytical chapters 3 and 4. The discursive moves of polarization to come can help us understand the language used by the media to translate the Libyan situation. The media's frequent use of lexical choices of particular IKTs is purely ideological (e.g. thuwwar vs militias).

In political and other ideologically-based discourse, positive self-presentation is usually combined with negative other-presentation, or derogation, following the well-known social psycho-logic of ingroup–outgroup polarization. Thus, in speeches that are intended to justify or legitimatize war, derogation of the ‘enemy’ is of course crucial, as we also have seen in the ALA representations of Libya Dawn forces in the Libyan civil war 2014, and those who support them. Although first considered and supported as an ally (e.g., against Gaddafi regime), especially during the Libyan revolution of the Arab spring in 2011, all the Libyan rebels were generally portrayed as the ALA and AJA preferred allies, both in politics and the media (see chapter three). So it is not surprising that in the wake of the sudden interest of the second Libyan civil war 2014 “militias” and “radical groups” in ALA portrayal of Libya Dawn forces after the incident of civil war 2014. This related background information and legitimatizations of the groups actions of course also play in the discourses of the allies of the media owners, namely the UAE, and we may therefore expect extensive derogation of the Other also in ALA media representations. Van Dijk (2006, 125-126) highlights that, if ideologies are organized by well-known ingroup–outgroup polarization, then we may expect such a polarization also to be within other discursive moves in the media discourse. Thus, we assume that ideological discourse is generally organized by a general strategy of positive ingroup favouritism-presentation (boasting) and negative other-presentation (derogation). This strategy may operate at all levels, generally in such a way that our good things are emphasized, and our bad things de-emphasized, and the opposite for the Others—whose bad things will be enhanced, and whose good things will be mitigated, hidden or forgotten. This general polarizing principle when applied to discourse affects both the meanings and perceptions. Van Dijk, (2006, p. 125) the use of repetition of specific IKTs through the discursive moves of lexical choices, euphemisms, hyperboles, or derogation, etc. are being frequently used in specific media representations is meant to enhance the negative properties of specific group by rhetorical structures emphasizing or de-emphasizing Our/Their Good/Bad things through the frequency of use of the same label and portrayal in most of the media representations (ibid).

Frequency of use of Ideological key terms (IKTs) and discourse

The Frequency of use of specific ideological key terms (IKTs) to describe specific group is important for discourse analysis because there are diverse languages and the individuals choose different language as per their demographic and cultural perspectives (Haider, 2016, p. 70). The media choices of the IKTs, therefore, it may reveal diverse, attitudes and intention of text producers. Therefore, IKTs analysis helps the researchers to recognize the focus of the corpus (Haider, 2016, p. 72). Yet, some of the IKTs are frequently utilised with different types of discourse, while others are not. IKTs are also effective to represent a helpful indication of the text producers’ political stance towards a particular issue in real life. Looking at IKTs used in AJA when carrying out the discourse analysis for the discourse of revolution, the saliently/ frequently used lexical choices for their preferred Libyan rival factions in the Libyan conflict such as thuwwar and thuwwar sabiqueen (revolutionaries) to describe the Libya Dawn forces as ingroup favouritism and allies in the Libyan civil war, while describing Operation Dignity as militias as outgroup. IKTs is helpful for general impression about the presentation of the investigated topic where the media reports and group the IKTs which are further related to the specific discourse polarization or metaphors (Baker, 2004, 2006) and (Haider, 2016, p. 72). The strategy of polarization in the use of IKTs is frequently used in the respective media for polarizing IKTs in political discourse. However, the IKTs is utilised to describe the good things that are highlighted and on the other hand the bad are put down. The political stances ad different aspects of social activities are also informed type others through IKTs (Breheny, 2003). In the data at hand, the Frequency of use of specific IKTs to portray certain groups can reveal some facts about discourse and attitudes, and can be an indicator of markedness which is a way to understand something based on its relation with geopolitics of the region (Haider, 2016, p. 72).

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Media representations as a translation of political discourse

Media outlets as translators operate in context and they try to produce ideological meanings. As operating in context, ideological and sociological perspectives as power may play a dominant role (Meltem Deveci 2017). In this study, we will investigate the media outlets representations as a translation of the Libyan civil war 2014, and how this major incident has been represented by the media as a translation (transediting). We will try to reveal the used discursive strategies according to the ideological model proposed by van Dijk. Through micro and macro analysis, the ideological discourse is beneficial to develop reality on the ground of discussion. The application of theoretical framework, CDA square and other tools are also beneficial to analyse the discursive patterns in the print media. The data under study comprises extracts of editorials from the reports covering the incident of the second Libyan civil war 2014 which is considered as translations of this major incident of the Libyan civil war. Media is concerned about diverse ideological discourses and in every field, media activities are important in translating a particular situations or incidents. The media reports also reflect different perceptions and ideologies that the individuals and political actors follow and gather a vast range of information further (Malkawi, 2012). The media activities and news are helpful for gathering a vast range of information about the world view and live incidents in real life (Malkawi, 2012). The news media also provides in-sights of diverse reality and institutions. News media also reflects a wide range of diverse ideas of the institutions of individual interest (Croteau and Hoynes, 2003). This explanation further refers to the fact that the news media develop an ideological vision of the whole world. It also reflects different approaches of sociological aspects and the institutions. The power of media is hereby dominant for discourse manipulation and power abuse. The notions of language, ideological perspectives, socio cultural activities and political contexts are discussed and evaluated in the media reports. Within the framework of van Dijk's model and strategies, we can argue that the media representations as translations are shaped according to their ideological positions. In a political context, the ideology of media is also important for getting the wide overview on the social and political activities according to the interests. Schaffner (2003) stated that, the translations are also effective for different ideological aspects and the choice of text that the individual use. Therefore, in this study, we analyse ideological representations of the Libyan incident in media reports as a translation of the reality on the ground.

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