Complicity in Discourse and Practice
It is commonplace to say that we are living in troubled times. Liberal democracy is in crisis. Academic freedom is seriously constrained. The media offers less insight and analysis than could be expected given the proliferation of communication tools. Based on decades of research into the social and ideological functioning of discourse and with a focus on politics, universities, and the media, Jef Verschueren offers an analysis of current practices, asks whether we are all complicit, and makes suggestions for what we can do.
Central to this book is the notion of derailed reflexivity, referring to the observation that politics, institutions, and news reporting tend to be excessively aimed at public opinion, impression management, and clicks, to the detriment of policies addressing social justice issues, high-quality service, and media content. Highlighting that education is the cornerstone for democratic choices and ensures that we can critically assess media content, this book shows that shared responsibility can be a source of hope and that everyone has the power to intervene.
Complicity in Discourse and Practice is a call to action for readers and a plea for actively minding the ecology of the public sphere.
ONE — IN SOCIETY
Terror and complicity
Ideas, influence, and power
Politics – and where it’s gone
Walls and borders
Of tongues ordinary and sublime
TWO — AT THE UNIVERSITY
Winners and losers
An academic cytokine storm
THREE — THROUGH THE MEDIA
The information funnel
Reflexivity on display
Info on demand
RECAP — SHARING RESPONSIBILITY
PROSPECT — AN ECOLOGY OF THE PUBLIC SPHERE?
"This informative and illuminating book in its entirety is worth recommendation to a wide readership keen to analyze and understand political discourses in troubled times" - Guodong Jiang' and Yingying Zheng, Journal of Language and Politics
"Complicity in discourse and practice is written by a senior researcher in the field of pragmatics, refelcting on problems arising from the context of his academic research. That gives it great value, not only for that particular field but also for researchers old and young from related disciplines who have been working on the relationships between language and meaning, society and politics, wrestling at interfaces between academic research and social activism." - Bob Hodge, Western Sydney University