Universiteit Leiden

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Critical Discourse Studies: A Sociocognitive Approach

  • Teun van Dijk
Friday 1 April 2016
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

About the lecture: Critical Discourse Studies: A Sociocognitive Approach

Discourse Studies as a crossdiscipline emerged in all the humanities and social sciences 50 years ago in the USA and various European countries, but initially focused mostly on formal aspects of text and talk: text grammar, semantic coherence and narrative and argumentation structures. A more sociopolitical orientation, Critical Discourse Studies (CDS), focused on forms of discursive power abuse, was initiated only in the 1980s, but since then has become very popular, for instance in the study of political discourse, media discourse and phenomena such as racism and sexism. Most forms of CDS establish direct links between discourse structures and social structures. In a sociocognitive approach this relation is mediated by cognitive structures, the only way heterogeneous discourse structures and social structures can be theoretically linked, for instance, by personal mental models and socially shared knowledge, attitudes and ideologies. Hence, a critical study of discourse must be based on such a sociocognitive theory in order to be able to describe and explain the discursive reproduction of social domination, as well as the resistance against this domination.

About the speaker: Professor van Dijk

Professor Teun A. van Dijk’s research deals with discursive racism, news in the press, ideology, knowledge and context. He is the author of several books in most of these areas, and he edited The Handbook of Discourse Analysis (4 vols, 1985), the introductory book Discourse Studies (2nd edition, 2011) as well as the reader The Study of Discourse (5 vols., 2007). He founded 6 international journals, Poetics, Text (now Text & Talk), Discourse & Society, Discourse Studies, Discourse & Communication and the internet journal in Spanish Discurso & Sociedad (www.dissoc.org), of which he still edits the latter four. His last monographs in English are Ideology (1998), Racism and discourse in Spain and Latin America (2005), Discourse and Power (2008), Discourse and Context (2008), Society and Discourse (2009), and Discourse and Knowledge (2014). Teun van Dijk holds three honorary doctorates and has lectured widely in many countries, especially also in Latin America. 

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