The young and the wrestling

6 05 2008

Am reviewing Mary Talbot’s latest offering: a highly entertaining and accessible CDA textbook on media discourse. While I am highly sympathetic to the theoretical and methodological tenets of CDA (eg. the infusion of social theory to the study of language-in-use), I sometimes struggle with CDA analyses that force feed ideological assumptions about authorial intentions to account for the ideological underpinnings of discourse.

In this sense, Talbot’s book brings home the bacon: drawing on numerous examples of TV, radio and print media, her analyses strike a lovely balance between text and context, without overinterpreting either one. This makes for lucid, poignant and convincing reading. Even her feminist escapades make sense (did I just write that?). I particularly like how she puts the finger on features of media discourse which we take for granted, like pastiche and parody. Just watch this.

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