Discursive Illusions in Public Discourse  book cover
1st Edition

Discursive Illusions in Public Discourse

ISBN 9780367133788
Published September 26, 2018 by Routledge
172 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book presents a unique perspective into the investigation and analysis of public discourses, such as those of the environment, politics, and social media, springing from issues of key relevance to contemporary society, including the War on Terror, the ‘Arab Spring’, and the climate-change debate. Employing a qualitative approach, and drawing on data which comprises both written and spoken discourses, including policy documents, political speeches, press conferences, blog entries, informational leaflets, and corporate reports, the book puts forward a unique theoretical framework, that of the Discourse of Illusion. The research draws on discourse analysis, in order to develop and implement a multi-perspective framework that allows a closer look at the intentions of the producer/actor of various discourses, power struggles within social domains, in addition to the socio-political and historical contexts which influence the individual repositories of experience that create multiple, often contesting, arguments on controversial issues, consequently giving rise to discursive illusions. Discursive Illusions in Public Discourse: Theory and practice intensively explores the discourse of illusion within multifarious dimensions of contemporary public discourses, such as:

•      Political Voices in Terrorism

•     Activist Voices in New Media

•      Corporate Voices in Climate Change

This book will particularly appeal to researchers working within the field of discourse analysis, and more generally for students of postgraduate research and specialists in the field of language, linguistics, and media. The book can also be used as a guide for non-specialists in better understanding the complexities of public discourses, and how they shape society’s perceptions of some key social and political issues.

Table of Contents

1. Framing Discursive Illusions 1.1. Framing the Discourse of Illusion 1.2. Metaphor and the Discourse of Illusion 1.3. Recontextualisation 1.4. Categorisation 1.5. Public Discourse 1.5.1 Discourses of Terrorism 1.5.2 Media Discourse 1.5.3. Business Discourse 1.6. Summary 2. Theoretical and Methodological Perspectives 2.1. Analytical Framework 2.2. History 2.2.1. Tools for the Analysis of History: Structured Immediacy 2.3. Linguistic and Semiotic Action 2.4. Social Impact 2.4.1. Tools for the Analysis of Social Impact: Membership categorization analysis 2.5. Textual and Contextual Resources for Employed Analysis 2.6. Data Set 2.7. Summary 3. Political Voices in Terrorism 3.1. Discourses of Terrorism 3.2. Good vs. Evil 3.3 Attack vs. Defence 3.4. Law vs. Lawless 3.4.1. Appeal to ‘Lawful’ Authority 3.5. Alliance vs. Opposition 4. Activist Voices in New Media 4.1. The Arab Spring 4.2. New Media in the Revolution 4.3. The Revolution 4.3.1. Revolutionary vs. Anti-Revolutionary 5. Corporate Voices in Climate-Change 5.1. The Discourses of the Environment 5.2. Corporate Social Responsibility 5.2.1. International Standards for CSR Reporting 5.2.2. CSR Practices in China, America and India 5.2.3. China, India, and America: Key Players in the Environmental Debate 5.3. Self-Promotion 5.4. Goodwill 5.5. Self-Justification 6. Conclusions and Implications 6.1. The Rise of Discursive Illusions 6.2. Findings 6.3 Us vs. Them 6.4. Implications

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Aditi Bhatia is an Assistant Professor with the Department of English at City University of Hong Kong.


Informed by theories from critical discourse analysis and political science, Discursive Illusions in Public Discourse is an excellent addition for those who are interested in the critical study of contemporary public discourses, such as climate change, the ‘Arab Spring’ and social media. Employing a unique multi-perspective theoretical framework within the context of the discourse of illusion, this book will be highly relevant to discourse scholars as well as post-graduate students of language and media. Andrea Mayr, School of English, Queen’s University Belfast