Week 10 post
Sorry Ed, i just got some problem in my home wireless so my posting has been delayed.
Maken-Horarik, M. “The Children Overboard Affair” Australian Review of Applied Linguistics 26.2 (2003), 1-16.
Before this week’s lecture, my idea to the term “Discourse” is not very clear. However after reading this week’s reading “A Telling Symbiosis in the Discourse of Hatred:Multimodal News Texts about the Children Overboard Affair.”, I found it very inspiring and my view on Discourse is expanded. In her article, the author Mary Macken-Horarik analyses how the design of text with images can vary a story and how the media evoke certain emotions from a wider audience by using specific language. She also explored and the ways in which our media used discourse in the reporting of the children overboard affair.
Macken-Horarik used different tools to analyse the respresentations in image and verbiage. There are three tools: 1) Genericisation-Specification, 2) Categorisation, and 3) Role Allocation.
When media generalize demographics, Genericisation-Specification is used. In this case, people are labeled. In the first three paragraphs of the Children overboard affair story, the writers labeled people into generic terms like ‘the navy’, ‘boat people’ and ‘the government’.
“While the first dimension of representation is concerned with whether to make people specific or generic and patterns pf reference throughout a text”(Macken-Horarik, 2003), the tool of catergorisation which concerns about the type of groups to which people is used. In the story, media linked ‘women and children’ to ‘boat people’ and represented the government people by calling them ‘Prime Minister’, ‘Defence Minister’etc.
The third tool role allocation refers to “the visual and verbal transitivity of representation – the roles allocated to social actors and the social vale attached to these roles (Macken-Horarik, 2003). In the story of Children Overboard Affair, the “navy” plays an active role in relation to the boat people. They helped the children and women. On the other hand, the government ministers, act in a total different role in verbal transitivity. John Howard acted in a dominant role and spoke for all Australians, telling them “treating children in this way is totally not accepted”.
Horace Li (z3232900)