Language in the Public Sphere. Competing and Collaborating Discourses

In light of the tendency in theoretical linguistics to discourage analyses that treat language as a social phenomenon, research on different public discourses seems to be left mostly to other fields, such as mass communication studies and political science. However, the linguistic underpinnings of this interdisciplinary line of inquiry should not be neglected, as is emphasized by critical linguists and discourse analysts. The paper argues that discourses of globalization and migration tend to intertwine, which is demonstrated by an analysis of some speeches and written texts of Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and George Soros, the internationally known financial investor whose name is often associated with globalization. Contrasting the core claims of globalism and antiglobalism (described as the two main discourses of globalization) in relation to those of multiculturalism and monoculturalism (the two main discourses of migration), it is shown how these core claims are expressed and combined in the language of the four prominent public figures.

Released: Replika 95, 97–111.