Sunday, October 19, 2008


Bloor and Bloor's The Practice of Critical Discourse Analysis is what I'm trying to read today, shoring up the notes I got from Leicester. The idea's to get the bigger picture, and, frankly, to learn how to walk-the-walk and to talk-the-talk of CDA. It's useful, but suffers from being a not-quite academic text, and by occasionally confusing ideological commitment with subjectivity and even hyperbole.

For example, they refer to EM Forster's broadcasts on the subject of race and the notion of "racial purity, which was a tenet of the Nazi war-machine." (Bloor 2007, 21). No, it wasn't. The Nazi Party had notions of racial purity, and they were passed on to the regime over which they presided, and thence to the armed forces. Banging together those three pejorative evocative nouns (Nazi+War+Machine) paints a vivid picture which would have made Dr Goebbels proud. As comic book guy said, "Your emotion is out of place, here."


  • I liked the classification (Bloor, 2007, 18) of categories of mutual knowledge. And it occurred that all of these were significant factors in humour. So that makes me wonder, what I could be reading on the relationship between humour and ideology?
  • Also, I need to get the concepts of Systemic Functional Linguistics and Pragmatics clearer in my mind. (Bloor, 2007, 19)
  • Grice's Maxims (Bloor, 2007, 24) are a really excellent foundation for analysing any text. And the idea of implicature.
  • Metonymy wasn't an entirely new bit of vocabulary, but, well, I'd forgotten what it meant. St James Park, forsooth.
  • Other useful terms - vital to the way my thinking is going - are paralinguistics, kinesics and proxemics.
  • Then we get to the concept of face, facework, and the work of Goffman. I like the concept of an FTA. (That's the lad 'imself up there top left).

That's enough of that, for now.

Bloor,M & Bloor, T (2007). The Practice of Critical Discourse Analysis. London. Hodder Arnold.