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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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On the Mediatisation of the Palm Oil Debate in the British Press

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And it would seem that, in time, there was no recess of the woods so dark, nor any secret place so lonely, that it might claim exemption from the inroads of those who had pledged their blood […] to uphold the cold and selfish policy of the distant monarchs of Europe.

(James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans)

1 On the palm oil conflict

‘Palm oil free’ labels have been mushrooming on product packaging for years, progressively driving consumer choices and eventually resulting in the ‘conversion’ of a significant share of chocoholics and biscuit lovers. Despite their instrumental role in determining consumer trends, however, these labels merely indicate what should or should not be bought without clarifying why, thereby simply operating the inescapable mechanisms of retail distribution and marketing rather than expounding the deep reasons behind opposition to palm oil. In other words, they are only the tip of the iceberg, the only visible and flaunted portion of the palm oil dispute.

Over the last few years, the use of palm oil in various consumer products has raised a number of argumentative questions (Plantin 2014: 388) in different spheres of social action: is palm oil a healthy or unhealthy vegetable fat? Do palm oil plantations replace pristine forests and peatlands, leading to the decimation of endangered species? Do companies only source certified sustainable palm oil, thereby preserving ←95 | 96→the environment? Are they responsible for deforestation? Is the land where...

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