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Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of texts, which views "language as a form of social practice" (Fairclough 1989: 20) and attempts "to unpack the ideological underpinnings of discourse that have become so naturalized over time that we begin to treat them as common, acceptable and natural features of discourse" (Teo 2000).
Norman Fairclough's books, Language and Power (1989) and Critical Discourse Analysis (1995), articulate a three-dimensional framework for studying discourse, "where the aim is to map three separate forms of analysis onto one another: analysis of (spoken or written) language texts, analysis of discourse practice (processes of text production, distribution and consumption) and analysis of discursive events as instances of sociocultural practice" (1995: 2).
Critical discourse analysis is founded on the idea that there is unequal access to linguistic and social resources, resources that are controlled institutionally. The patterns of access to discourse and communicative events is one essential element for CDA. In terms of method, CDA can generally be described as hyper-linguistic or supra-linguistic, in that practitioners who use CDA consider the larger discourse context or the meaning that lies beyond the grammatical structure. This includes consideration of the political, and even the economic, context of language usage and production.
In addition to linguistic theory, the approach draws from social theory — and contributions from Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci, Louis Althusser, Jürgen Habermas, Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu — in order to examine ideologies and power relations involved in discourse. Fairclough notes "that language connects with the social through being the primary domain of ideology, and through being both a site of, and a stake in, struggles for power" (1989: 15).
Notable researchers include Norman Fairclough, Paul Chilton, Teun van Dijk, Christina Schäffner, Ruth Wodak, Peter Teo, Roger Fowler, Gunther Kress, Mary Talbot, and Robert Hodge.
- Caldas-Coulthard, Carmen Rosa & Coulthard, Malcolm (Eds.) (1996). Texts and Practices: Readings in Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Routledge.
- Chouliaraki, Lilie & Norman Fairclough (1999). Discourse in Late Modernity: Rethinking Critical Discourse Analysis. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
- Norman Fairclough (1995). Critical Discourse Analysis. Harlow: Longman.
- Norman Fairclough (1995). Media Discourse. London: Edward Arnold.
- Norman Fairclough (2001). Language and Power (2nd edition). Harlow: Longman.
- Norman Fairclough (2003). Analysing Discourse: Textual Analysis for Social Research. London: Routledge.
- Jaworski, Adam, & Coupland, Nikolas (Eds.) (2002). The Discourse Reader. New York: Routledge.
- Lazar, Michelle (Ed.) (2005). Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis: Gender, Power and Ideology In Discourse. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
- Rogers, Rebecca (2003). A Critical Discourse Analysis of Family Literacy Practices: Power in and Out of Print. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
- Rogers, Rebecca (Ed.) (2003). An Introduction to Critical Discourse Analysis in Education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
- Talbot, Mary, Atkinson, Karen and Atkinson, David (2003). Language and Power in the Modern World. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
- Toolan, Michael (Ed.) (2002). Critical Discourse Analysis: Critical Concepts in Linguistics (Vol I: Precursors and Inspirations). London: Routledge.
- Toolan, Michael (Ed.) (2002). Critical Discourse Analysis: Critical Concepts in Linguistics (Vol II: Leading Advocates). London: Routledge.
- Toolan, Michael (Ed.) (2002). Critical Discourse Analysis: Critical Concepts in Linguistics (Vol III: Concurrent Analyses and Critiques). London: Routledge.
- Toolan, Michael (Ed.) (2002). Critical Discourse Analysis: Critical Concepts in Linguistics (Vol IV: Current Debates and New Directions). London: Routledge.
- Weiss, Gilbert & Wodak, Ruth (Eds.) (2003). Critical Discourse Analysis: Theory and Interdisciplinarity in Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Palgrave.
- Wodak, Ruth & Meyer, Michael (Eds.) (2001). Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Sage.
- Young, Lynne & Harrison, Claire (Eds.) (2004). Systemic Functional Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis: Studies in Social Change. London: Continuum.
For critical debates on CDA see, for example:
- Henry Widdowson (1995). Review of Fairclough's Discourse and Social Change. Applied Linguistics 16(4): 510-516.
- Norman Fairclough (1996). A Reply to Henry Widdowson's 'Discourse Analysis: A Critical View. Language & Literature 5(1): 49-56.
- Henry Widdowson (1996). Reply to Fairclough: Discourse and Interpretation: Conjectures and Refutations. Language & Literature 5(1): 57-69.
- Henry Widdowson (1998). "The Theory and Practice of Critical Discourse Analysis." Applied Linguistics 19/1: 136-151.
- Beaugrande, Robert de (2001). "Interpreting the Discourse of H.G. Widdowson: A Corpus-Based Critical Discourse Analysis. Applied Linguistics 22(1): 104-121.
- Toolan, Michael (1997). What Is Critical Discourse Analysis and Why Are People Saying Such Terrible Things About It? Language & Literature 6(2): 83-103.
- Stubbs, Michael (1998). Whorf's Children: Critical Comments on Critical Discourse Analysis. In Ryan, A. & Wray, A. (Eds.), Evolving Models of Language: British Studies in Applied Linguistics 12, Clevedon: BAAL/Multilingual Matters.
- Blommaert, Jan & Bulcaen, Chris (2000). Critical Discourse Analysis. Annual Review of Anthropology 29: 447-466.
- Threadgold, Terry (2003). Cultural Studies, Critical Theory and Critical Discourse Analysis: Histories, Remembering and Futures. Linguistik Online 14(2). [Online]. Available: http://www.linguistik-online.de/14_03/index.html.
- Tyrwhitt-Drake, Hugh (1999). Resisting the Discourse of Critical Discourse Analysis: Reopening a Hong Kong Case Study. Journal of Pragmatics 31: 1081-1088.pt:Análise crítica do discurso
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