Language & Power

Thoeries, Theorists & Key terms

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  • Created on: 08-05-14 10:31
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Language In Power
Types of power ­ wareing (1999)
Political ­ that held by politicians, the police and those working in law courts
Personal ­ Those who hold power as a result of their occupation or role, such as teachers or
Social group ­ Those who hold power as a result of social variables such as class, gender and
Types of power ­ Fairclough (2001)
Power in discourse:
o The ways in which power is manifested in situations through language.
o Looks at how power is exercised language.
Power behind discourse:
o Focus on social and ideological reasons behind the use of power
o Uses linguistic features
o Discuss power relationships that shape language uses
Model auxiliary verbs show power in language system.
Epistemic modality ­ probability or certainty that signals authority e.g "shall" and "will"
Deontic modality ­ express obligation, requirement or permission in order to give clear
instructions e,g "must be given up" and "may apply"
Use of the verb "to be" to express control.
Power in Advertising
Fairclough (2001) ­ believes that advertisement is an example of ideology through building a
relationship between the producer and receiver.
A `product image' is created which helps the receiver become a potential customer.
This works as a projected world that the consumer becomes a part of it.
Stage 1: Direct imperative address
Personal pronouns
o `Yours' and `you'
o Implied familiarisation
o Synthetic personalisation
Stage 2: Members resources
Concerned about the reader's ideological background knowledge.
Comes from customer's cognitive and cultural models.
Could come from images (celebs) or verbal ones (creates an image).

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Stage 3: Building the customer
The receiver is seen as an ideal consumer
They agree with the ideologies that it presents
Reader is one for the particular construction of an image
Politeness in Conversations
Face ­ a person's self-esteem or emotional needs
Positive face ­ the need to feel wanted/liked/appreciated
Negative face ­ The need to have freedom of thought and action and not imposed on
Everyday communication brings potential to threaten face
Asking someone to do something or speaking about a sensitive issue may…read more

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Holding the floor ­ not letting anyone else speak
Imperative sentences
Closing down
Theorist Ideas Notes
Wareing (1999) Three ways of classifying Power may also be
people: political, personal or instrumental (when used to
social. enforce authority( or influential
(influence persuades others).
Fairclough (2001) Power in discourse OR power Power in discourse deals with
behind discourse how power is manifested in
situations through language.
Power behind discourse
focuses on social reasons
behind power.…read more

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Winnick (1974) Humour Humour can be used to criticise
Bernstein (1998) Imperatives Used frequently when power
relationships are clear and
stable in an organisation.…read more


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