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Investigating Conflict Discourses in the Periodical Press

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Edited By Giuliana Elena Garzone, Mara Logaldo and Francesca Santulli

The contributions collected in this book deal with the representation of conflict in the periodical press, which has often been an arena of adversarial stances, staged and enacted either within the same publication or enlarged to involve various newspapers and magazines in a series of provocations and replies. Underlying all the contributions is the awareness that the periodical press provides an ideal terrain for research on the discursive representation of conflict, having the prerogative to combine insight with a constant updating of the debate. The issue is approached in an interdisciplinary perspective, bringing linguistics and discourse analysis with Periodical Studies, hence highlighting the connection between language and ideology. The focus on lexical choices and rhetorical devices used to tackle current controversial issues such as Brexit, immigration, violence in sports, policies regarding health and food, women’s role and legal matters ultimately transcends national boundaries to become more widely representative of today’s discourses of conflict.

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Investigating Conflict Discourses in the Periodical Press: An Overview

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This book approaches the issue of conflict discourse in the periodical press from a linguistic and discursive perspective.1 Rather than offer a straightforward, sequential summary of the chapters, in this opening chapter I present an overview of the concepts of conflict and conflict discourse, their coverage in the periodical press, and provide a review of relevant research. This is followed by reflections focusing on the use of discourse analysis in this area of investigation, with a brief discussion of some of the analytical tools most frequently deployed.

This task is particularly challenging as the study of conflict discourse in the periodical press brings together various strands of research: on the one hand specifically linguistic and discourse analytical investigations of conflict communication, its inception, its evolution and its representation, and on the other hand research on discourse in the news and in other periodical publications. This chapter aims at providing a broad overview of some of the most salient issues in these two main lines of research, without claiming to be exhaustive due to space limitations.

The chapter is organized as follows. In § 1, some general indications are given as to the approaches to the study of communication through the press in general, and in particular of its role, inherent characteristics and distinctive features. These indications represent a necessary background for any piece of research focusing on aspects of news discourse. ←11 | 12→In § 2 the attention shifts to the notion of conflict, as its...

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