Occupy: The spatial dynamics of discourse in global protest movements
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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In the article I model an alternative critical discourse analysis (CDA) pedagogy which is based on an ethical subjectivity instead of a political subjectivity. Aimed at undergraduates, it facilitates critical purchase on arguments which attack the standpoint of relatively powerless groups/organizations (who seek political change). Via corpus linguistic analysis of appropriate web-based data, I show how the analyst can rigorously find out at scale the recurrent key concerns of a relatively powerless Other with whom they were previously unfamiliar. They use this counter-discourse information as a lens on an argument which criticises the relatively powerless group, ascertaining whether or not the argument has distorted the group’s key concerns. Should this be the case, I highlight how the analyst can go on to explore whether any mischaracterisation has implications for the argument’s credibility because it loses coherence relative to the outlook of the Other. The approach is grounded in Jacques Derrida’s ‘ethics of hospitality to the Other’. It is in being hospitable to the outlook of a relatively powerless Other, and adopting it for purposes of argument evaluation, that the analyst effectively creates an ethical subjectivity. That said, the ethical and political are, in principle, relatable with this method as I indicate. Keywords: absences; argumentation; change.org; corpus linguistics; counter-discourse; critical discourse analysis; ethical subjectivity; Jacques Derrida; online comments; text cohesion.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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