CONSTRUCTION OF NATIONAL IDENTITY: POWER IN ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES

Monika Gyuró

Abstract

The study aims at analyzing the links between identity, institutions and discourse. As a method, the author applies Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to demonstrate how a prominent fi gure of the American political life interacts in an exceptional social situation refl ecting the macro level of social forces. Within CDA’s language analysis, the study also detects power relations through the lexico-grammatical level of language use. According to the functional theory of language (Halliday 1994), the paper investigates the acceptance speech of Barack Obama on the representational, positional and expressive levels of language use. On the one hand, the contribution intends to reveal that the metaphor, pronoun, and modality system may show the charismatic ways of power manifestation in political talk. On the other hand, the paper concludes that the linguistic means the speaker applies in the speech contribute to the construction of national identity.

Keywords

identity; institutions; nation; discourse; Critical Discourse Analysis

Full Text:

References

Show references Hide references

Agar, M. (1985) ‘Institutional discourse.’ Text 5 (3), 147-68. https://doi.org/10.1515/text.1.1985.5.3.147


Anderson, B. (1983) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of
Nationalism. London: Verso.


Benwell, B. and Stokoe, E. (2006) Discourse and Identity. Edinburgh: Edinburgh
University Press.


Bourdieu, P. (1986) ‘The forms of capital.’ In: Richardson, J. (ed.) Handbook of Theory
and Research for the Sociology of Education. New York: Greenwood. 241-258.


Chouliaraki, L. and Fairclough, N. (1999) Discourse and Late Modernity. Edinburgh:
Edinburgh University Press.


Derrida, J. (1976) Of Grammatology. (trans. by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, 1998) The
John Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, Maryland.


Fairclough, N. (1995) Critical Discourse Analysis. The Critical Study of Language.
London: Longman.


Foucault, M. (1972) The Archaeology of Knowledge. London and New York: Routledge.


Goffman, E. (1963) Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity. New Jersey:
Prentice Hall.


Grant, D. and Iedema, R. (2005) ‘Discourse analysis and the study of organizations.’ An
Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Discourse 25 (1), 37-66.


Hall, S. (1996) ‘The question of cultural identity.’ In: Hall, S., Held, D., Hubert, D.
and Thompson, K. (eds) Modernity: An Introduction to Modern Societies. London:
Blackwell Publishers. 595-634.


Halliday, M. A. K. (1994) An Introduction to Functional Grammar, 2nd ed. London:
Edward Arnold.


Hegel, G. W. F. [1807] (1977) Phenomenology of Spirit. (trans. by A. V. Miller) Oxford:
Clarendon Press.


Jones, S. R. and McEwen, M. K. (2007) ‘A conceptual model of multiple dimensions of
identity.’ Journal of College Students Development. 405-414.


Leary, M. R. and Tangney, J. P. (2003) Handbook of Self and Identity. New York: Guilford
Press.


Lemert, C. (2004) Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings. Westview
Press Boulder.


Mäkitalo, A. and Saljö, R. (2000) ‘Talk in institutional context and institutional context in
talk: Categories as situated practices.’ Text 22 (1), 57-82.


Mayr, A. (2004) Prison Discourse: Language as a Means of Control and Resistance.
London: Palgrave Macmillan.


Parsons, T. (1963) ‘On the concept of political power.’ Proceedings of the American
Philosophical Society. Vol. 107. No. 3. Reprinted in: Talcott Parsons, Politics and
Social Structure. New York: Free Press. 1969. 232-262.


Portner, P. (2009) Modality. Oxford University Press.


Ricoeur, P. (1992) Oneself as Another. (trans. by Kathleen Blamey) Chicago: University
of Chicago Press.


Tajfel, H. and Turner, J. C. (1986) ‘The social identity theory of intergroup behavior.’
In: Worchel, S. and Austin, W. G. (eds) Psychology of Intergroup Relations. 7-24.
Chicago IL: Nelson-Hall.


Van Dijk, T.A. (1998) Political Discourse and Ideology. London: Sage.


Van Leeuwen, T. (2008), Discourse and Practice: New Tools for Critical Discourse
Analysis. New York: Oxford University Press.

Weinrich, P. and Saunderson, W. (2003) (eds) Analysing Identity: Cross-Cultural, Societal
and Clinical Context. London: Routledge.


Weiss, G. and Wodak, R. (2003) ‘Introduction: Theory, interdisciplinarity and critical
discourse analysis.’ In: Weiss, G. and Wodak, R. (eds) Critical Discourse Analysis:
Theory and Interdisciplinarity. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 1-34.


Wodak, R. and De Cillia, R. (2009) The Discursive Construction of National Identity.
Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press.


Wodak, R. and Meyer, J. (2009) Methods for Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Sage.

https://doi.org/10.5817/DI2015-1-21


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.