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Journal of Language and Politics

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ISSN 1569-2159
E-ISSN 1569-9862

The Journal of Language and Politics (JLP) represents an interdisciplinary and critical forum for analysing and discussing the various dimensions in the interplay between language and politics. It locates at the intersection of several social science disciplines including communication and media research, linguistics, discourse studies, political science, political sociology or political psychology. It focuses mainly on the empirically-founded research on the role of language and wider communication in all social processes and dynamics that can be deemed as political. Its focus is therefore not limited to the ’institutional’ field of politics or to the traditional channels of political communication but extends to a wide range of social fields, actions and media (incl. traditional and online) where political and politicised ideas are linguistically and discursively constructed and communicated.

Articles submitted to JLP should bring together social theory, sociological concepts, political theories, and in-depth, empirical, communication- and language-oriented analysis. They have to be problem-oriented and rely on well-informed contemporary as well as historical contextualisation of the analysed social and political dynamics. Methodologies can be qualitative, quantitative or mixed, but must in any case be systematic and anchored in relevant social science disciplines. They may focus on various dimensions of political communication in general and of political language/discourse in particular.

The Journal of Language and Politics welcomes review papers of any research monograph or edited volume which takes a critical and analytical approach to the study of language and politics, as broadly conceived above.

The Journal of Language and Politics publishes its articles Online First.

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  • A corpus-based approach to discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in UN and newspaper texts
    • Authors: Paul Baker, and Tony McEnery
    • Source: Journal of Language and Politics, Volume 4, Issue 2, 2005, pages: 197 –226
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    • A corpus-based analysis of discourses of refugees and asylum seekers was carried out on data taken from a range of British newspapers and texts from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees website, both published in 2003. Concordances of the terms refugee(s) and asylum seeker(s) were examined and grouped along patterns which revealed linguistic traces of discourses. Discourses which framed refugees as packages, invaders, pests or water were found in newspaper texts, although there were also cases of negative discourses found in the UNHCR texts, revealing how difficult it is to disregard dominant discourses. Lexical choice was found to be an essential aspect of maintaining discourses of asylum seekers — collocational analyses of terms like failed vs. rejected revealed the underlying attitudes of the writers towards the subject.
  • The representation of refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in British newspapers: A critical discourse analysis
    • Author: Majid KhosraviNik
    • Source: Journal of Language and Politics, Volume 9, Issue 1, 2010, pages: 1 –28
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    • The paper is a CDA investigation on discursive strategies employed by various British newspapers between 1996–2006 in the ways they represent refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants. The period covers several world events which have impacted such representation, creating a large number of articles on and/or about these groups. A combination of quantitative and qualitative down-sampling technique is then devised to restrict the number of articles to a sensitive sample which takes into account the newspapers’ ideological stands; conservative/liberal, their types; quality/tabloid and the relevant world events. The paper discusses some of the salient issues in the ways these groups of people are represented in British newspapers during these 10 years and shows that despite differences — arising from differences in ideological viewpoints and their types — in some important ways all the newspapers contribute to construct refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in similar ways.
  • What does ‘we’ mean?: National deixis in the media
    • Author: Pille Petersoo
    • Source: Journal of Language and Politics, Volume 6, Issue 3, 2007, pages: 419 –436
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    • The contextual nature of deictic expressions, including the personal pronoun ‘we’, is a given to linguists, but has only recently caught the interest of social scientists. The following article, firmly grounded in sociology, attempts to introduce some linguistic concepts while looking at the role of the personal pronoun ‘we’ in the discursive construction of national identities in the media. Focusing on Scotland, and looking at media language in the context of constitutional change in the United Kingdom, the article shows how different category relations are created through the ambiguous and under-specified use of deictic expressions. Scotland provides an interesting case study for such analysis, as references to the ‘nation’ during the 20th century have been ambiguous, sometimes referring to Scotland, sometimes to Britain. Consequently, the media/nation relationship has been contested, and this is reflected in media language. The paper introduces the concept of a wandering ‘we’ to describe the shifting reference point of the deictic expressions and situates this phenomenon in the wider nationalism literature. By doing this, the article revisits some of the notions introduced by Billig in his Banal Nationalism.
  • War rhetoric of a little ally: Political implicatures and Aznar’s legitimatization of the war in Iraq
    • Author: Teun A. van Dijk
    • Source: Journal of Language and Politics, Volume 4, Issue 1, 2005, pages: 65 –91
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    • In this paper we examine some of the properties of the speeches by former Prime Minister José María Aznar held in Spanish parliament in 2003 legitimating his support of the USA and the threatening war against Iraq. The theoretical framework for the analysis is a multidisciplinary CDA approach relating discursive, cognitive and sociopolitical aspects of parliamentary debates. It is argued that speeches in parliament should not only be defined in terms of their textual properties, but also in terms of a contextual analysis. Besides an analysis of the usual properties of ideological and political discourse, such as positive self-presentation and negative other-presentation and other rhetoric devices, special attention is paid to political implicatures defined as inferences based on general and particular political knowledge as well as on the context models of Aznar’s speeches.
  • On the use of the personal pronoun we in communities
    • Author: Isabel Íñigo-Mora
    • Source: Journal of Language and Politics, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2004, pages: 27 –52
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    • The purpose of this paper is to show the existing relationships between the concept of community and the linguistic forms used to convey or even to manipulate it. First of all, the limits and restrictions of any form of community will be defined. Second, one specific form of community will be selected for analysis. The community chosen will be the Parliamentary community, and the linguistic form singled out for study will be the first person plural pronoun “we”. We will try to discover any type of relationship between (a) the scope of reference of this personal pronoun and (b) the intentions of the person who uttered it. In this way, we can see whether there is any connection between personal identity (in terms of inclusion/exclusion from a group) and pronominal choice. This could also lead us to the discovery of any possible strategic use of this personal pronoun.
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