The Book Review of Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis


速读·中旬 2018年7期

Li Fangling

Abstract:This paper is giving an overview of Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis (2nd edition),which is written by Ruth Wodak and Michael Meyer.This book introduces six methodology of doing Critical Discourse Analysis and it includes seven chapters.It clearly introduces some major genres of Critical Discourse Analysis and the similarities and differences of those genres.The aim of this book is to help people who is interested in Critical Discourse Analysis understand CDA better.

Key words:Critical Discourse Analysis;overview;methodology

1 Introduction of the book and the author

Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis(second edition)is a comprehensive book.It introduces different perspectives of CDA and some approaches to CDA.It provides a clear overview of the major schools of CDA in the world,and discusses their similarities and differences.This book is made up of seven chapters.

This book is edited by Ruth Wodak and Michael Meyer.Ruth Wodak is an Austrian linguist.Her research is mainly located in Discourse Studies (DS) and in CDA.Michael Meyer is a Professor.His areas of specialization and current research include:Civil Society and Civic Participation,Social Systems Theory and Careers.

2 Summary of Contents

Chapter one discusses the history,agenda,theory and methodology of Critical Discourse Analysis.

In chapter two,there are four parts: introduction,foundations of discourse theory,from discourse to dispositive,and methods for analyzing discourses and dispositives.They aim to give a concise introduction to the methodology of analyzing discourses and dispositives,building on the theoretical insights of Michel Foucault.

In chapter three,Van Dijk gives a reason why he prefers Critical Discourse Studies to Critical Discourse Analysis.In his opinion,such a critical approach not only involves critical analysis,but also critical theory,as well as critical applications.

The chapter four is started by introducing the notions of“critique”,“ideology”and“power”.These three concepts are constitutive for every approach in Critical Discourse Analysis,albeit frequently employed with different meanings.

The fifth chapter the author Gerlinde Mautner focuses on the role that corpus linguistics can play in Critical Discourse Analysis projects.

In chapter six,van Leeuwen divides his paper into four sections,such as introduction,theoretical background,discourse and social practice,and social action.

In last chapter,the author introduces and illustrates a methodology for using a dialectical-relational version of Critical Discourse Analysis in transdisciplinary social research.

3 Evaluation

New advances have been made in CDA.However,lack of unified definitions for its key concepts results in problems in its orientation.We should give a clear definition to ideology,power and critical,and the relationship between CDA and PDA.

The chapter five cannot offer detailed step-by-step guidance on project design and execution.The function of corpus linguistics methods in the study of CDA is auxiliary,they cant take the place of the process of analysis.In the process of analysis,analysts have the limitations of his own knowledge and position,unavoidably bring subjective color.So dispositive analysis is still a long way to go.

4 Conclusion

I think this book is suitable for students and researchers.Because it can let them learn the basic knowledge and some useful methods of CDA.If there is a chapter about functional linguistics,may help person to know CDA better.

The criticism of CDA has never been interrupted.In response to criticism of CDA from all sides,in this book a few scholars have done a variety of efforts.As an academic genres,perhaps the characteristics of CDA determines that it is a dynamic and open theoretical system.Because it is difficult to establish a clear and stable relationship among language,social structure and social practice in the short terms,so the CDA theory system cant become stable for a long period of time.Therefore,the future of CDA will still be interdisciplinary and keep moving forward in the dispute.


[1] Wodak,R&M.Meyer.Methods; for Critical Discourse Analysis (2nd Edition) [C].Sage,2009.



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