The discursive construction and attributions of motive in relation to the Chilean student movement (2011-2013) in the national news genre

Perez Arredondo, Carolina and Myers, Greg (2017) The discursive construction and attributions of motive in relation to the Chilean student movement (2011-2013) in the national news genre. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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This thesis investigates how motive is linguistically and discursively constructed in news reports of the Chilean student movement. In particular, I analyse how these constructions of motive are recontextualized, represented and attributed to legitimize and/or delegitimize the actions associated with them. The corpus under study consists of a specialized corpus containing news articles about the student movement, drawn from seven major newspapers over a three-year span (2011-2013), sub-categorized into conservative and alternative press. The analysis builds upon my personal adaptation of van Leeuwen’s work on purpose and legitimation to analyse motive in the news genre. I combine this adaptation with positioning theory and corpus-assisted methods. Methodologically, I propose a three-step method to analyse motive in the news genre that consists of (1) an analysis of grammatical realizations of motives; (2) position analysis in order to identify the most common storylines with which the educational issues being contested are framed, and how the actors are positioned within them; and (3) a keyword and collocation analysis to identify the ideological struggle presented in these news reports in terms of representations of motives and (de)legitimation strategies. The results show that the inclusion, exclusion and recontextualizations of motive can be used to subvert and/or normalize social representations of the students. While no differences emerge in the ways grammatical structures are used in both the mainstream and alternative presses, semantic and discursive resources are used differently in order to legitimize and delegitimize the motives of the actors involved in the conflict. Finally, the corpus analysis helped to triangulate the results obtained in the qualitative analysis. This method contributed to the identification of motive through social actor representation, as opposed to social action representation. Therefore, it consolidated the methodological approaches I propose in this thesis.

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11 Jun 2018 10:22
Last Modified:
18 Apr 2024 23:43