Fairclough, Norman (1999) Global capitalism and critical awareness of language. Language Awareness, 8 (2). pp. 71-83. ISSN 0965-8416
As the shape of the new global social order becomes clearer, so too does the need for a critical awareness of language as part of language education. I discuss, with a focus on discourse, several key features of late modern society which help make the case for critical awareness of discourse: the relationship between discourse, knowledge and social change in our 'information' or 'knowledge-based' society; what Smith (1990) has called the 'textually-mediated' nature of contemporary social life; the relationship between discourse and social difference; the commodification of discourse; discourse and democracy. I then draw these together by tying the case for CLA to the nature of the new global capitalism, and conclude the paper with discussions of how CLA is anchored in 'critical discourse analysis' (and, through that, in critical social science generally), and of how the question of CLA is framed within the wider question of the nature and purposes of education.
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