The Importance Of Language Use

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Theoretical framework Critical discourse analysis Studying language use is an effective tool for revealing inequalities and stigmas of different (minority) groups. Even though the feminist media research has often ignored women’s magazines (Siivonen 2006: 227), studying how they write about the world is important because of the large audience they have. Cosmopolitan.com alone reaches over 20 million unique readers a month (Hearst Communications Inc. 2015), thus having a real impact on the young women and their views of the world. Magazines also reflect the worldviews and ideas of their authors, thus giving us an idea of the society and the culture they live in. Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is a sub-discipline of discourse analysis, a term used to refer to several approaches that are used to analyze the language use. CDA critically examines the relations between language use and the societies and cultures. One important name in the field of CDA is Teun A. Van Dijk. Van Dijk is interested in how different texts are shaped by the social power relations and ideologies (Väliverronen, E. 2003: 28-29). In other words, according to van Dijk, ideologies (the shared beliefs of a group) and the social power relations have an impact on the way language is used. For example, two people who think of themselves as equals talk to each other in a different way than they would talk to, for instance, the president of the U.S. In their conversation, whether they stand for the beliefs

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