Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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This paper explores the discursive relationships of power, ideology, and affect that are instituted — and reproduced, resisted, or modified — in the functional pragmatics of talkback radio. In particular, I develop a critical analysis of the psychodynamics of subjectivity based on a case study of talkback in Northern Ireland in which the main topic of discussion deals with community responses to the Drumcree Protestant church parade. The functional pragmatics approach builds on the contributions of critical discourse analysis and conversation analysis to the study of ideology and affect in discourse in institutions. I develop a wider context for the analysis of discourse in the talkback institution by addressing the meta-linguistic implications of talk about talk through cognitive-developmental paradigms and psychoanalytic social theory. It is anticipated that such a motivated analysis will reveal the emancipatory interests concealed within ideologically bound — while not necessarily moribund — institutional frameworks of communicative action.


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