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Title: Applying systemic functoinal linguistics and critical discourse analysis to the investigation of ideology in a radio news bulletin
Author: Haig, Edward tobias whitton
ISNI:       0000 0004 2703 0461
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2009
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In this study a version of Systemic Functional Linguistics (namely that developed by J. R. Martin and colleagues) is applied within a Critical Discourse Analysis framework to the study of ideology in a radio news bulletin. The bulletin was broadcast in August 2007 on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. The main story concerns the fatal shooting of a young boy in Liverpool. His attacker was another young boy who was a local gang member. The incident rapidly acquired a symbolic dimension in Britain, partly due to the tragic nature of the crime but mainly becauseit was seena s the culmination of a serieso f youth crime incidents involving guns or knives during the earlier part of that year that appeared to reflect what some commentatorsa t the time were describinga s 'BreakdownB ritainor even 'Anarchy in the UK'. The study takes a fine-grained approach, analysing each clause in the bulletin text according to all the principal components of the Systemic Functional model. At the level of lexicogrammar, the systems of Mood, Modality, Transitivity, Theme and Clause Complexing are analysed. At the level of discourse semantics, Cohesion, Reference, and Appraisal are examined. The contextual variables of Register and Genre are also analysed. Finally, the topmost stratum of context as conceived by Martin's model, ideology, is analysed. The findings of the study indicate that in each of the systems analysed the influence of ideology could be detected. However, rather than any more overt political ideology, the ideology identified was principally that of the objective, neutral and balanced 'strategic impersonalisation' of the BBC news journalists. The study serves as an example of how a close textual analysis informed by Systemic Functional Linguistics can contribute to Critical Discourse Analysis by making its analyses more rigorous and less subjective.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available