Date of Award

5-1-2011

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Applied Linguistics

First Advisor

Fuller, Janet

Second Advisor

Baertsch, Karen

Abstract

The power to control Discourse is the power to maintain distinct discursive practices with particular ideological agendas prevailing others, including oppositional practices (Fairclough,1995a). Media discourse thus is a powerful tool in the creation and maintenance of the hegemony of a preferred Discourse. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) aspires to disclose discursive practices that involve unequal relations of power and aim to contribute to social change by creating more equal power relations (Jorgensen & Phillips, 2002). The present study, by using CDA, aims to understand the role of the media in the selling of the war on Iraq by looking at Time magazine articles prior to the war in contrast with President George W. Bush speeches during the same period. The major themes found were patriotism, the Discourse of fear, glorification of the army, polarization of us vs. them, the "if" Discourse and trivialization of war. The findings suggest that there is an influence from the presidential Discourse reflected in the Discourse presented by the magazine as well as some themes that are only present in the magazine and also serve to the same end of shaping the public support for the war.

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