Critical Discourse Analysis and its Critics

Ruth Breeze

Abstract


This article briefly reviews the rise of Critical Discourse Analysis and teases out a detailed analysis of the various critiques that have been levelled at CDA and its practitioners over the last twenty years, both by scholars working within the “critical” paradigm and by other critics. A range of criticisms are discussed which target the underlying premises, the analytical methodology and the disputed areas of reader response and the integration of contextual factors. Controversial issues such as the predominantly negative focus of much CDA scholarship, and the status of CDA as an emergent “intellectual orthodoxy”, are also reviewed. The conclusions offer a summary of the principal criticisms that emerge from this overview, and suggest some ways in which these problems could be attenuated.

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