The power of the discourse

28 February | 19:00

Palau Macaya

When we think of “discourse”, a political discourse normally comes to mind. But in reality, discourse is everywhere. It’s in the newspapers and in social media. It’s in the classrooms and even in the doctor’s office. It’s in our homes. Because discourse is in language and communication. And it’s precisely because it’s everywhere that it holds such power. An invisible power that is capable of manipulating, creating ideologies, maintaining stereotypes, and even giving rise to economic crises.

In this regard, and considering the close ties between discourse, ideology and society, questions such as the following arise: What responsibilities do politicians, journalists and teachers have with regard to creators and agents of public discourse? To what extent should the media become more aware of the power of the public discourses they broadcast? Do social media make the democratisation of public discourse possible? How can the critical analysis of discourse be used to combat fake news? How can we turn classrooms into real spaces for critical thinking?

Teun Van Dijk is one of the founders of the critical approach in Discourse Studies, that is, the critical analysis of the latent meaning in what is said or written. “la Caixa” fellow Alfonso Sánchez-Moya, who holds a PhD in English Linguistics, will have a discussion with him to answer these and other questions, which will give us tips on how to be more critical of the different messages that reach us every day.

Teun van Dijk is a professor of Discourse Studies at the University of Amsterdam and is a professor at Pompeu Fabra University. He recently spurred the creation of the Centre of Discourse Studies in Barcelona, a space for the critical analysis of language.

Alfonso Sánchez-Moya received a “la Caixa” fellowship to pursue a Master’s degree in Discourse Studies at Lancaster University, United Kingdom. He holds a PhD in English Linguistics from VU University Amsterdam and the Cumplutense University of Madrid, to which he remains linked as a researcher for the group “Discourse and communication in the English language: studies in cognitive and functional linguistics”. Additionally, he is a professor at the Nebrija University and has been a Cambridge ESOL examiner since 2012. 

48 fellows have attended

Palau Macaya

Passeig de Sant Joan, 108 08009 Barcelona