Matching Items (12)

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Right Versus Privilege: An Evaluation of the Affordable Care Act through Discourse Analysis

Description

Since its inception, the Affordable Care Act has prompted many different genres of discourse within governmental, media, business, and cultural realms. The narratives common in each realm, as well as the means by which they are shared, influence the everyday

Since its inception, the Affordable Care Act has prompted many different genres of discourse within governmental, media, business, and cultural realms. The narratives common in each realm, as well as the means by which they are shared, influence the everyday consumer and overall image of the act (Fairclough 1995, 2003). These discourses shape a sense of what is possible. Through critical discourse analysis, focusing on both how the authors felt constrained by the message they must deliver and the way in which established discourses shape what is possible to imagine about health care in the future. In particular, I want to focus on how the federal government shaped the discourse on the Affordable Care Act around the concept of human rights and implied privilege and how this shaped the way in which the act was perceived by the general public.

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2016-05

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Social class bias in evaluator commentaries for the AP language and composition exam (2000-2010), a critical discourse analysis

Description

This study is a discourse analysis and deconstruction of public documents published electronically in connection with the evaluation of the Advanced Placement Language and Composition Examination, found on the educational website: apcentral.collegeboard.com. The subject of this dissertation is how the

This study is a discourse analysis and deconstruction of public documents published electronically in connection with the evaluation of the Advanced Placement Language and Composition Examination, found on the educational website: apcentral.collegeboard.com. The subject of this dissertation is how the characteristic of writing identified as Voice functions covertly in the calibration of raters' evaluation of student writing in two sets of electronic commentaries: the Scoring Commentaries and the Student Performance Q&A;'s published between the years 2000-2010. The study is intended to contribute to both socio-linguistic and sociological research in education on the influence of inherited forms of cultural capital in educational attainment, with particular emphasis upon performance on high-stakes examinations. Modeled after Pierre Bourdieu's inquiry into the latent bias revealed in the "euphemized" language of teacher commentary found in The State Nobility, lists of recurrent descriptors and binary oppositions in the texts are deconstructed. The result of the deconstruction is the manifestation of latent class bias in the commentaries. Conclusions: discourse analysis reveals that a particular Voice, expressive of a preferred social class identity, which is initiated to and particularly deft in such academic performances, is rewarded by the test evaluators. Similarly, findings reveal that a low-scoring essay is negatively critiqued for being particularly unaccustomed to the form(s) of knowledge and style of writing required by the test situation. In summation, a high score on the AP Language Examination, rather than a certification of writerly competence, is actually a testament to the performance of cultural capital. Following an analysis of the language of classification and assessment in the electronic documents, the author provides several "tactics" (after de Certeau) or recommendations for writing the AP Language and Composition Examination, conducive to the stylistic performances privileged by the rating system.

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Date Created
2011

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Interrupting institutional discourse: circulating themes within the Adult Basic Education/Literacy system

Description

The Adult Basic Education/Literacy (ABEL) system in America can suffer critique. In a system that is staffed mostly by volunteers and plagued by funding woes, the experience of adult learners as participants within the institutional structure can be easily overlooked.

The Adult Basic Education/Literacy (ABEL) system in America can suffer critique. In a system that is staffed mostly by volunteers and plagued by funding woes, the experience of adult learners as participants within the institutional structure can be easily overlooked. Adult students are described as transient and difficult to track. Even so, and maybe because of this characterization, leaders within the local ABEL discourse make it their mission to reach these students in order to assist them to a better quality of life. However, there is more than one discourse circulating within the system. A discourse of outreach and intervention is one strand. The complex relationships education centers engage with more powerful government institutions causes another, more strident political discourse that constrains and influences the discourse within ABEL education centers, down to the classroom level. Within the vortex of motivations and needs created by institutional discourse, an institutional critique may give voice to those who experience the discourse in a way that hinders their education. This paper pursues critique, not through direct reconstruction, but through the encouragement of alternative discourses as additional institutions enter the system. AmeriCorps is presented as an institution that allows for more democratic participation through its distinct organizational features. The features that emerge in AmeriCorps projects offer hope for alternative models of participation within the highly politicized ABEL discourse.

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Date Created
2011

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Governing more than language: rationalities of rule in Flores discourses

Description

This project offers an exploration of the constitution of English language learners (ELLs) in the state of Arizona as subjects of government through the discursive rationalities of rule that unfolded alongside the Flores v. Arizona case. The artifacts under consideration

This project offers an exploration of the constitution of English language learners (ELLs) in the state of Arizona as subjects of government through the discursive rationalities of rule that unfolded alongside the Flores v. Arizona case. The artifacts under consideration span the 22 years (1992-2014) of Flores' existence so far. These artifacts include published academic scholarship; Arizona's legislative documents and floor debate audio and video; court summaries, hearings, and decisions; and public opinion texts found in newspapers and online, all of which were produced in response to Flores. These artifacts lay bare but some of the discursive rationalities that have coagulated to form governable elements of the ELL student population--ways of knowing them, measuring them, regarding them, constituting them, and intervening upon them. Somehow, some way, students who do not speak English as their first language have become a social problem to be solved. ELLs are therein governed by rationalities of English language normalization, of enterprise, of entrepreneurship, of competition, of empowerment, and of success. In narrating rationalities of rule that appear alongside the Flores case, I locate some governmental strategies in how subjects conduct themselves and govern the conduct of others with the hope that seeing subject constitution as a work of thought and not a necessary reality will create a space for potentially unknown alternatives. Through this work, I'd like to make possible the hope of thinking data differently, rejecting superimposition of meaning onto artifact, being uncomfortable, uncertain, undefinitive, and surprised. With that, this work encourages potential paths to trod in the field of curriculum studies.

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2014

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Urban music education: a critical discourse analysis

Description

In this study, I uncover the coded meanings of "urban" within the music education profession through an exploration and analysis of the discourse present in two prominent music education journals, Music Educators Journal (MEJ) and The Journal of Research in

In this study, I uncover the coded meanings of "urban" within the music education profession through an exploration and analysis of the discourse present in two prominent music education journals, Music Educators Journal (MEJ) and The Journal of Research in Music Education (JRME). Using critical discourse analysis (CDA), I investigate how the term "urban" is used in statements within a twenty-year time span (1991-2010), and how the words "inner-city," "at-risk," "race," and "diversity" are used in similar ways throughout the corpus. An in-depth examination of these five terms across twenty years of two major publications of the profession reveals attitudes and biases within the music education structure, uncovering pejorative themes in the urban music education discourse. The phrase "urban music education" is rarely defined or explained in the corpus examined in this study. Rather, the word "urban" is at times a euphemism. Based on a CDA conducted in this study, I suggest that "urban" is code for poor, minority, and unable to succeed. Relying on the philosophical ideas of Michel Foucault, I uncover ways in which the profession labels urban music programs, students, and teachers and how the "urban music education" discourse privileges the White, suburban, middle class ideal of music education. I call for an evaluation of the perceptions of "success" in the field, and advocate for a paradigm shift, or different methods of knowing, in order to provide a more just teaching and learning space for all music education actors.

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Date Created
2015

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Small groups and figured worlds: an analysis of identities and literacy practices in small-group literacy sessions

Description

Small-group literacy instruction is frequently used in schools in order to engage students in discussions around texts. Instructional settings vary and produce a range of results. They are complex social spaces in which students position one another and themselves as

Small-group literacy instruction is frequently used in schools in order to engage students in discussions around texts. Instructional settings vary and produce a range of results. They are complex social spaces in which students position one another and themselves as they enact different identities. These identities are associated with sets of literacy practices. This paper describes the results of a study examining the ways in which 3rd and 4th grade students and their teachers positioned themselves and one another in three different small-group literacy settings and the literacy practices that they used as they performed their identities. Using a multimodal discourse analysis (Kress, 2012) and D/discourse analysis (Gee, 2005, 2011), the form and function of language and gestures were used to look at the kinds of identities that the participants enacted and the literacy practices that the students engaged in the different settings. The results of the analysis suggested that the identities that the participants performed were related to the context in which interactions around texts took place. The identities themselves were connected to the use certain literacy practices. The literacy practices used by the participants were also related to the classroom context. The findings suggest that it is important for teachers to consider the figured worlds active in small-group settings, the identities performed within those worlds, and the literacy practices in which students engage.

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2015

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Ideologies toward language minority students: a study of three newspapers in Arizona

Description

The presence of language minority students in American schools is a growing phenomenon in present-day times. In the year 2008, almost 11 million school-age children spoke a language other than English at home. Educational language policy is largely influenced by

The presence of language minority students in American schools is a growing phenomenon in present-day times. In the year 2008, almost 11 million school-age children spoke a language other than English at home. Educational language policy is largely influenced by the attitudes that society holds regarding the presence of language minority speakers in the community. One of the sources of these attitudes is the written press. This research aimed at identifying and analyzing the ideologies that newspapers display in connection with language minority speakers. The underlying assumption of the study was that the English language occupies a dominant position in society, thus creating a power struggle in which speakers of other languages are disenfranchised. Using critical theory as the theoretical framework enabled the study to identify and oppose the ideologies that may reproduce and perpetuate social inequalities. The methodological approach used was critical discourse analysis (CDA) which aligns with the main tenets of critical theory, among them the need to uncover hidden ideologies. The analysis of articles from English-language (The Arizona Republic and the East Valley Tribune) and Spanish-language (La Prensa Hispana) newspapers allowed for the identification of the ideologies of the written press in connection to two main hypothetical constructs: education and immigration. The analysis of the results revealed that the three newspapers of the study held specific ideologies on issues related to the education of language minority students and immigration. Whereas the East Valley Tribune showed an overarching ideology connected to the opposition of immigrant students in schools, the hegemonic position of theEnglish language, and a belligerent stance toward the immigrant community, The Arizona Republic showed a favorable attitude to both English Language Learners and immigrants, based on reasons mainly related to the economic interest of the state of Arizona. La Prensa Hispana, on the other hand, showed ideologies favorable to the immigrant community based on humanitarianism. In summary, the results confirm that newspapers hold specific ideologies and that these ideologies are reflected in the content and the manner of their information to the public.

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Date Created
2012

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Bearing the Weight of Healthism: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Women’s Health, Fitness, and Body Image in the Gym

Description

Dominant discourses of health and fitness perpetuate particular ideologies of what it means to be “healthy” and “fit,” often conflating the two terms through conceptualizing the appearance of physical fitness as health. The discourse of healthism, a concept rooted in

Dominant discourses of health and fitness perpetuate particular ideologies of what it means to be “healthy” and “fit,” often conflating the two terms through conceptualizing the appearance of physical fitness as health. The discourse of healthism, a concept rooted in the economic concept of neoliberalism, fosters health as an individual and moral imperative to perform responsible citizenship, making the appearance of the “fit” body a valued representation of both health and self-discipline. This perspective neglects the social determinants of health and ignores the natural variation of the human body in shape, size, and ability, assuming that health can be seen visually on the body. Through a case study of one particular location of a popular commercial gym chain in an urban city of the Southwestern United States, this study employs a critical discourse analysis of the gym space itself including a collection of advertisements, photographs, and signs, in addition to participant observation and semi-structured interviews conducted with diverse women who exercise at this gym to explore how women resist and/or (re)produce discourses of healthism related to health, fitness, and body image. Ultimately, critical analysis shows that the gym itself produces and reifies the discourse of healthism through narratives of simultaneous empowerment and obligation. Though women in the gym reproduced this dominant narrative throughout their interviews, internal contradictions and nuggets of resistance emerged. These nuggets of resistance create fractures in the dominant discourse, shining light into areas that can be explored further for resistance practices through sense-making, necessitating a language of resistance.

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2019

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A Comparative Critical Discourse Analysis of Twitter Posts of the Saudi Royal Decree of Women Driving: A Corpus-Assisted Discourse Analysis

Description

The dynamic and rich expressions in social media such as Twitter are regarded as instigators of social change. The tweets from the debates on the Saudi royal decree granting women the right to drive in Saudi Arabia provide a

The dynamic and rich expressions in social media such as Twitter are regarded as instigators of social change. The tweets from the debates on the Saudi royal decree granting women the right to drive in Saudi Arabia provide a platform for examining the public’s role in shaping national ideologies and societal changes. These tweets are subjected to Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies, guided by the theories of Critical Discourse Analysis. Twitter’s Application Programming Interface, Hashtag selection, and Sketch Engine, is utilized to analyze a corpus comprising of 6,000 tweets from the supporters and opponents of the royal decree on women driving. The corpus includes tweets posted when the ban lifted in September 2017 and when licenses were issued in June 2018. The researcher further supplemented the computer processing of text with manual examination. The outcomes revealed discursive strategies and themes of opponents and supporters discourse. The Findings show that the anticipated negative and positive outcomes from the decree are used to justify the tweeters positions. Furthermore, the analysis shows that while the conservative oppositions’ pleas are from a protectionist stance, the supporters’ excitement are from the initiation of societal change that will advance the welfare of women. The major two themes of the anti-decree tweeters are (a) disappointment of the decree through supplication and (b) negation of visible presence of woman drivers. On the other hand, the major two themes of the pro-decree tweeters are a) analogy comparisons and b) celebrations. The findings further indicate the classification of tweeters to an in-group and out-group membership which justifies the referential and predicational strategies used by tweeters.

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2021

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Manufacturing ideology in mediated discourse: a cognitive approach to the critical discourse analysis of politics and ideology

Description

This study tests the hypothesis and assumption of much critical scholarship that the discourse of mass media news transmits prejudicial ideologies to news consumers, influencing the way they think about social justice issues and non-dominant groups in American society, including

This study tests the hypothesis and assumption of much critical scholarship that the discourse of mass media news transmits prejudicial ideologies to news consumers, influencing the way they think about social justice issues and non-dominant groups in American society, including immigrants, women, and African-Americans. Taking off from the motivations and premises of Critical Discourse Analysis concerning language, power, and ideology, this study aims to extend that paradigm in several ways by applying the analytic techniques of cognitive and critical linguistics to uncover implicit representations in biased discourse. This study also goes beyond previous work by examining the reader comments on media texts to understand how the media’s discourse was received and interpreted, with a focus on the covert transmission of ideological messages. The results reveal how ideologies of prejudice are communicated implicitly through media discourse and how readers’ own ideologies influence that process, as evidenced by their comments. As a study in Critical Discourse Analysis, this study uncovers abuses of power impacting social justice – in this case, the power of writing for the mass media to mold American minds, and therefore influence Americans’ behavior, including elections. Specific news articles from the American networks CNN and Fox were chosen on each of two topics for their relevance to current sociopolitical issues of prejudice and social justice: the US Supreme Court June 2018 decision to uphold the Trump administration “travel ban” and the January 2019 Gillette advertisement, considered controversial for its seemingly feminist criticism of male behavior.

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Date Created
2019