Van Dijk


Van Dijk (2003) asserted that CDA is a proposition which focuses on how power abuse, dominance and inequality are practiced in the discursivity of the social and political context. However, Jorgensen and Phillips (2002) perceived CDA as a multi-disciplinary approach to analyse the relation between ‘discourse and social and cultural developments’ in cross cultural domains. In relation to this approach, Fairclough (1995) argued that the aim of CDA is to “systematically explore the opaque relationship of casuality and determine between a) discursive practices, events, and texts, and b) wider social and cultural structures, relations and processes” (p.132). Another proponent of CDA, Janks (1997) viewed CDA as a form of social practice whereby critical theories are applied to analyse the opaque relationship. With reference to the notion above, CDA exercises the critical theories which inspects language in relation to power and struggle over power which in return reveals the identities of oppressors. Meanwhile, Van Dijk (2003) stated that CDA focuses on how a social group’s mental representation is influenced by social structures. In this event, the theme of a conversation may influence how people highlight the important information in a text or talk.
CDA is characterised as an interdisciplinary multi-methodical approach rather than an isolated discipline on its own. Van Dijk (2009) asserted that CDA is a combination of critical theory and application rather than a critical analysis which therefore leads to the term (critical discourse studies). Van Dijk (2009) and Wodak and Meyer (2009) sketched the aims and tenets of CDA which are employed in reviewing recent CDA studies:

– CDA is problem-oriented rather than focusing on theory or a particular discipline as its implications are explicitly presented in layman’s term to the society.
– CDA is an interdisciplinary as it involves various theory, methods and practical application in unbinding serious issues and problem in society.
– CDA is perceived as a social research as its critical research is concerned with social problems and the understanding of human rights, social inequality, power abuse in domains such as racism, classism, sexism, and etc.
– CDA is interested in unethical issues which investigates domination group of people whom are subjected to discursive injustice.
– CDA emphasises spontaneous assessment as the need to shed light on the phenomenon under investigation and to provide justification on why certain interpretations are effective than others.

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The purpose of this review is to find out how CDA as a critical discourse analysis method plays a vital role in unravelling the hidden ideologies and scrutinise the presence of power in media discourse studies. The specific objective is to investigate the application of CDA approach in the related studies.

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