زبان های خارجی
The term discourse analysis has come to be used with a wide range of meaning which cover a wide range of activities. There are many existing approaches to the study of language. One of them which this study is based upon, is critical discourse analysis (CDA). This approach grew out of work in different disciplines in the 1960s and early 1970s, including linguistics, semiotics, psychology, anthropology and sociology. CDA analyses social interactions in a way which focuses upon their linguistic elements, and which sets out to show up their generally hidden determinants in the system of social relationships, as well as hidden effects they may have upon that system. Since CDA is not a specific direction of research, it does not have a unitary theoretical framework. Therefore, in this research project, in order to overcome the potential weaknesses of any single method, a critical linguistic analysis will be adopted from some of the most influential linguists in the field to analyse the formal linguistic features of the written electoral materials from the 7th presidential election in Iran, to explain discourse structures in terms of properties of social interaction and especially social structure, and to focus on the ways discourse structures enact, conform, legitimate, reproduce or challenge relations of power and ideology in society.
1. To help correct a widespread underestimation of the significance of language in the production, maintenance, and change of social relations of power in Iran.
2. To refer to the order of discourse of the society as a whole, which structures the orders of discourse of the various social institutions in a particular way.
3. To show that orders of discourse are ideologically harmonized internally or (at the societal level) with each other.
4. To stress both the determination of discourse by social structure, and the effects of discourse upon society through its reproduction of social structures.
5. To examine the relationship between discourse and sociocultural change.
So this research project aims to answer the following questions:
1. What were the formal textual features of the conservatives’ and reformists’ discourses at the 7th presidential election?
2. How did their discourses and strategies change and why?
3. What were the ideologies behind the discourse of each group?
4. What was the relationship between language of each party and power?
SOURCES AND METHODOLOGY
There are many existing approaches to the study of language (e.g. linguistics, sociolinguistics, pragmatics, cognitive psychology, etc.) but while each of them has something to contribute to critical language study, they all have major limitations from a critical point of view.
The critical discourse analysis upon which this study is based, does not adhere to any particular approach. It is similar to a qualitative research method in that it deals with non-numerical data and can only be validated by other researchers examining the same data. However, its similarity can only be detected to a certain point because a qualitative research method is either synthetic or holistic, whereas critical linguistics is analytic in nature. A qualitative method on content analysis is rejected on the grounds of its inability to get beneath the textual surface where the crucial meanings lie. So in this research a critical linguistic analysis will be adopted from some of the most influential linguists in the field (in order to overcome the potential weaknesses of any single method) including Fairclaough (1989, 1992, 1995), Fowler (1991) and van Dijk (1981, 1985) to :
1. Study the theoretical aspects of the subject i.e. explanation and definition of the concepts of ideology, power, discourse, discourse analysis, order of discourse, critical discourse analysis, etc.
2. Study the descriptive aspects of the subject, i.e. giving a systematic presentation of a procedure for critical discourse analysis; setting out a view of interrelationship of language and society; illustrating the place of language in society, and showing 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.
3. Study the analytic aspects of the subject, i.e. analysing the formal textual features of their statements, press interviews and electoral speeches and manifestoes of the two main candidates for presidency – Khatami and Nategh Noori and their main supporters.
As the primary sources of the present study, the written electoral materials such as the speeches and manifestoes published in newspapers and the published interviews and debates of the candidates, and as the secondary sources the speeches, statements and articles of other politicians as well as the editorials of the newspapers regarding the presidential election, from the 8th of May, 1997 when the Council of Guardians announced the names of the eligible candidates upto the last day of election (23rd of May, 1997) would be taken into consideration.
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