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The European Union in Cyberspace. Multilingual Democratic Participation in a virtual public sphere?

Wodak, Ruth and Wright, S. (2006) The European Union in Cyberspace. Multilingual Democratic Participation in a virtual public sphere? Journal of Language and Politics, 5 (2). pp. 251-275. ISSN 1569-9862

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Abstract

This article analyses the European Union's Futurum discussion forum. The EU hoped that Futurum would help close the acknowledged gap between institutions and citizens by facilitating a virtual, multilingual, transnational public sphere. Futurum was both an interesting example of how the EU's language policies shape the structure of deliberative experiments and of a public debate about their relative value. We combine various quantitative measures of the discussions with a critical discourse analysis of a thread which focused on language policies. We found that although the debates were predominantly in English, where a thread started in a language other than English, linguistic diversity was more prominent. The discourse analysis showed that multilingual interaction was fostered, and that the debate about language policies is politically and ideologically charged.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Language and Politics
Uncontrolled Keywords: argumentaion analysis ; discourse analysis ; electronic democracy ; European Union ; language policies ; multilingualism ; multimodality ; public sphere
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Linguistics & English Language
ID Code: 1686
Deposited By: Prof Ruth Wodak
Deposited On: 18 Feb 2008 16:41
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2013 14:49
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/1686

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