This paper provides a survey of critical discourse analysis (CDA), a recent school of discourse analysis that concerns itself with relations of power and inequality in language. CDA explicitly intends to incorporate social-theoretical insights into discourse analysis and advocates social commitment and interventionism in research. The main programmatic features and domains of enquiry of CDA are discussed, with emphasis on attempts toward theory formation by one of CDA's most prominent scholars, Norman Fairclough. Another section reviews the genesis and disciplinary growth of CDA, mentions some of the recent critical reactions to it, and situates it within the wider picture of a new critical paradigm developing in a number of language-oriented (sub) disciplines. In this critical paradigm, topics such as ideology, inequality, and power figure prominently, and many scholars productively attempt to incorporate social-theoretical insights into the study of language.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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