Mediation between discourse and society: assessing cognitive approaches in CDA

Discourse Studies 8 (1):179-190 (2006)
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While reviewing relevant recent research, it becomes apparent that cognitive approaches have been rejected and excluded from Critical Discourse Analysis by many scholars out of often unjustified reasons. This article argues, in contrast, that studies in CDA would gain significantly through integrating insights from socio-cognitive theories into their framework. Examples from my own research into the comprehension and comprehensibility of news broadcasts, Internet discussion boards as well as into discourse and discrimination illustrate this position. However, I also argue that there are salient limits to cognitive theories which have to be taken into account, specifically when proposing social change via rational/cognitive insights. Examples from recent political debates on immigration and from the election campaign in the US in 2004 serve to emphasize these arguments.



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