|Media discourse analysis
7.5+7.5 higher education credits
Department of Journalism, Media and Communication, University of Gothenburg
The course syllabus was confirmed by Ulla Sätereie (Prefekt) on 14.04.14 to be valid from 14.04.14.
Field of education: Social Sciences
Department: Department of Journalism, Media and Communication
2. Position in the educational system
The course is a single subject course and can be included in masters and doctoral degree.
3. Entry requirements
Admission to the course requires a Bachelor in Social Science or Humanities, and basic knowledge in discourse analysis. The course is taught in English and is open to Swedish and international students on master and postgraduate level. It is primarily aimed for students in Media and communication, but is also open for students with educational background in for example Journalism, Sociology, Political Science and Linguistics.
4. Objectives and learning outcomes
The course presents theoretical and methodological approaches for in-depth analyses of text and talk in different media (press, broadcast, Internet etc.). The overall aim of the course is to provide opportunities for the participants’ to deepen their methodological skills in detailed analyze of media discourses.
After completing the course the students are expected to reach the following learning outcomes:
Knowledge and understanding
In-depth knowledge of key topics and approaches in Media Discourse Analysis
Understand theoretical and methodological approaches in Semiotic Analyses (SA), Discourse Analysis (DA), Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Conversation Analysis (CA)
Skills and abilities
Be able to apply concepts and methods developed in the above mentioned traditions on a selected number of key topics in research on media discourse
Independently evaluate their own and others’ analyses in the field
At an in-depth level understand and critically discuss the differences, strengths and limitations of various approaches
5. Course content
Media discourse analyses is a dynamic research area marked by influences from different approaches in the multidisciplinary field of Discourse studies. This course focuses on Semiotic Analyses (SA), Discourse Analysis (DA), Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Conversation Analysis (CA), with particular references to how they are applied in analyses of text and talk in mediated communication. Based on these approaches the course explores aspects of language use in symbolic activities, representations of reality, forms of social interaction, dominance and power. The course offers an orientation to theoretical traditions but gives emphasize to methods for detailed analyses of media discourses.
The course is possible to read for 7.5 or 15 credits. The first 7.5 credits comprise two parts.
The first part provides an overview of the four traditions (SA, DA, CDA and CA) with a focus on some key studies and distinct contributions to the analyses of media discourse. Emphasis is given to the central concepts, methodological practices and handling of empirical data.
In the second and main part concrete analyses of text and talk are discussed and practiced in relation to a selection of key topics within the following seven themes:
Theme 1: Interaction in media genres; interviews and hybrid forms of talk.
Theme 2: Audience addresses and performances; authenticity and sociability in media talk.
Theme 3: Representation of social identities and social relations in text and talk.
Theme 4: Voices and dialogues; footing, entitlement, authority and recontextualization.
Theme 5: Knowledge claims and the construction of factuality in news discourse.
Theme 6: Multimodal discourse analysis
Theme 7: Media discourses as sites of social differences, dominance and power struggle.
The themes are all discussed with a focus on two general aspects of discourse studies:
(1) How text and talk are designed. This includes the construction of narratives and macro structures, lexical and grammatical choices, design of sentences and utterances, metaphors, implied meanings, multimodal recourses, etc.
(2) The interrelationships between text/talk and contexts. Context is understood on different levels including text in relation to co-text; utterances in relation to previous turns of talk; intertextuality, genres and frames; participation frameworks; institutional norms and identities; socio cultural and historical contexts.
Students who choose to read the course for 15 credits also conduct an in-depth analysis related to one of the themes and presented in an extended essay. This part of the course will be supervised individually and in groups.
Ekström, Mats and Tolson, Andrew (2013) Media Talk and Political Elections in Europe and America. London: Palgrave. (200 pages)
Kress, Gunther (2009) Multimodality: A Social Semiotic Approach to Contemporary Communication. London: Routledge. (200 pages)
Krzyzanowski, Michal 2010 The Discursive Construction of European Identities. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang (Chapter 2: Dimensions of Analysis, pp. 67-91).
Machin, D. (2013) What is multimodal critical discourse studies? Critical Discourse Studies, 10(4), 347–355.
Talbot, Mary (2007) Media Discourse: Representation and Interaction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. (130 pages)
Hutchby, Ian (2006) Media Talk: Conversation Analysis and the Study of Broadcasting. Maidenhead: The Open University Press. (150 pages)
Wodak, Ruth and Meyer, M (2009) (eds.) Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Sage.
Woofitt, Robin (2005) Conversation Analysis and Discourse Analysis: A Comparative and Critical Introduction. London: Sage. (200 pages)
A selection of articles (approximately 200 pages)
The course is examined through active participation in seminars and presentations (oral and written) of exercises related to the different themes of the course. For 15 credits the students are also assessed through a written assignment where the students present a more extensive in-depth analysis focusing on one of the themes. Students who do not pass the examination are entitled to be examined a second time. Students who have failed an exam twice have the right to change the examiner. A written request should be sent to the Director of Studies.
8. Grading scale
Exams are graded on a three point scale; Pass with a distinction (VG), Pass (G), Fail (U).
9. Course evaluation
The course will be evaluated by students each time it has been given.
The course is led by a local coordinator and teacher from JMG with high competence and research experiences in Discourse analysis. Guest lecturer will participate on specific topics.