Language in Power - Theories

  • Created by: Kalum
  • Created on: 03-04-12 10:05

Language in Power

Wareing (1999)

Define social groups and power: 

  • Political - Power in the Law e.g. Police, Judge, Barrister 
  • Personal - Occupation / Power within a Job e.g. Doctor, Teacher and so on.
  • Social Group - Friends and Family, Class in society.  

Types of Power:- 

  • Instrumental (Written and Spoken)
  • Influential (Written and Spoken) 

Instrumental Power - Enforces Authority and is imposed by the laws, state, conventions and organisations. for e,g "SHUT UP NOW!" 

Influential Power - Persuasive and Inclines or makes us want to behave in a certain way. for e.g. "Please do not touch the wet paint." 

Fairchlough (2001) 

Power behind discourse - Context. (Who, What, Where, When, Why etc.) 

Power in discourse - Features and methods used to show power, for e.g. Material Verbs. 

Ideology - Meaning/Attitudes and world views displayed in language. e.g Terrorist over Freedom Fighters. (We call them terrorists, they call themselves Freedom Fighters.) 

Modal Verb (Auxiliary Verb)
Cannot be on its own:- Should, Can, Will, Shall, Could, Must, May, Would, Might, Ought.

Epistemic and Deontic Modality.

Epistemic = Suggests possibilities that are most likely to be true. e.g "You could do that."  

Deontic    = Displays certainty (how something ought to be.) e.g
"You must do that."

Power in Advertising

Dyer (1982)

An adverts main goal is to persuade. Adverts are taking over our lives and display an unattainable reality for e.g The Lynx advert, Spray


Matt Lanter's the best!! :)

Report was great help! :)

Petar Stermsek


This is exactly what i need! :O Thanks a bunch!



I will so be using this to revise! (deontic modal auxiliary verb) ;)


Peter Whitehead


Very useful. I need it to revise for my exams in a couple of weeks time! Nice one :)



Awesome! thanks so much! 

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