Framing Discourse on the Environment
A Critical Discourse Approach
Routledge – 2009 – 240 pages
In this study, Richard Alexander presents a series of original and empirically based case studies of the language and discourse involved in the discussion of environmental and ecological issues. Relying upon a variety of different text types and genres – including company websites, advertisements, press articles, speeches and lectures – Alexander interrogates how in the media, press, corporate and activist circles language is employed to argue for and propagate selected positions on the growing ecological crisis. For example, he asks: How are ecological and environmental concerns articulated in texts? What do we learn about ecological ‘problems’ through texts from differing sources? What language features accompany ecological discourse in differing contexts and registers? Attention is especially directed at where this discourse comes into contact with business, economic and political concerns.
"For anyone interested in language, ecology and politics, the book is an eye-opener and should be compulsory reading."--Alwin Fill, Arbeiten aus Anglistik und Amerikanistik
"The survival of humanity depends on our ability to change the attitude most people have towards the environment and Alexander's work can help us follow the right direction."
- M. Cristina Caimotto, University of Torino, Italy
Chapter 1: Integrating the ecological issue: Some linguistic self-reflexions; Chapter 2: Ecological commitment in business: A computer-corpus-based critical discourse analysis; Chapter 3: The framing of ecology: On the relation between language and economics; Chapter 4: Everyone is talking about ‘sustainable development’. Can they all mean the same thing? Chapter 5: Wording the world: The 2000 BBC Reith Lectures as an index of ecological progress or regression?; Chapter 6: Shaping environmental discourse: The example of the 2000 BBC Reith Lectures; Chapter 7: Resisting imposed metaphors of value: Vandana Shiva’s role in supporting Third World agriculture; Chapter 8: Environmental Issues, Third World Agriculture and Multinationals: Who Pays the Price?; Chapter 9: The Language and Discourse of Power and Orwell’s Problem; Chapter 10: Some concluding remarks on institutional obfuscation and military disinformation and what can be done about it
Richard J. Alexander, Full Professor of English Business Communication at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. Publications include Aspects of Verbal Humour in English and New International Business English (co-author Leo Jones).