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CDA: Future Directions – Interview With Norman Fairclough Part VII

Rebecca Rogers: Can you talk about future directions for CDA?

Norman Fairclough: I wouldn’t like to speak on behalf of CDA. I mean what is interesting now is that it is being taken up so widely and in so many different disciplines that it has now become something thank goodness that it could not be controlled even if someone wanted to. And I don’t think people want to. So I think it will go in all sorts of directions. That is good and it will mean that it will end up in all sorts of unrecognizable forms. But if it continues with the basic sort of orientations toward language as part of the social order, than that is fine.

So, yeah, I mean, I don’t all I can say abut future directions for CDA generally is that it is obviously a greater disciplinary diversity. I mean there are people from goodness knows how many disciplines very often working on their own, working on particular research projects without anyone in their institutions who can supervise them and there are thousands of these people probably all over the place. It is difficult for them to do but people are doing it in that way.

It is good to pull some of that together. This new journal that we started, Critical Discourse Studies, part of the point of that was—not to pull it together in the sense of normalize it —but give people a space where a lot of different kinds of work has a home without impose any—I suppose trying to get people to address—or not to ignore issues that are coming up in the field.

So, I suppose what we are saying in the journal, you may not be doing much textual analysis but at least maybe you should be aware that whether you do or not is an issue. So if you decide not to do a lot of very detailed textual analysis, at least that is something to give a rationale for.

RR: It is a tension, isn’t it – with this conference and the journal and your point about normalizing and institutionalizing CDA?

NF: Institutionalization means various things. We have conferences. We have journals.
These are marks of institutionalization. We have posts in CDA. Probably most people are
doing CDA are not in CDA posts. But, on the other hand, we are talking about this network structure and when you think of institutions you think more of hierarchy.

We don’t have a hierarchy. So, of course, there are of course certain elements of institutionalization but it is a very loosely institutionalized structure. As I said, people are working in all sorts of different disciplines and departments but it is not pulled together in a hierarchy.


Rogers, R. (2004, May). [Interview with Norman Fairclough.] In Companion Website to R. Rogers (Ed.) An Introduction to Critical Discourse Analysis in Education (second edition). New York: Routledge. []

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