CORPORATE ADVOCACY DISCOURSE : A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF CORPORATE POLITICAL ACTION LANGUAGE
Dawson, Joseph A.
Fairclough (2003) argues that there is a discourse of globalization - one in which globalization is inevitable and inherently a good thing. Ideological in nature, this discourse is based on the assumption globalization is good for everyone, yet globalization actually benefits some and hurts others. And as globalization has become a major force affecting and cutting across nearly every field and industry around the globe, it becomes increasingly imperative we gain a better understanding of how ideas, perspectives, and opinions of globalization--be it a force for good or a cause for bad--are created, shared, and propagated on an international level. Only through such examinations can we have a better understanding of what globalization is and entails in order to gain a better understanding of how to maximize its perceived benefits while minimizing its perceived detriments. Within this context, corporations - legally formed organizations founded on the basis of generating profits - become key players, for they often serve as the engines that drive the spread of economic globalization. In fact, it could be argued that corporations influence trends that other organizations - non-profit, governmental, and educational - follow when seeking to expand engagement in the international sphere. Thus, corporations serve as effective entities to study in terms of how they generate ideas associated with and influence perceptions of globalization around the world. Moreover, as more multinational corporations are expanding their reach to a broader range of nations, cultures, and markets, the need to examine the nature of such influence is timely and important. To examine such factors, this dissertation reviews the discourse of globalization by analyzing how multinational corporations create and use political action language (i.e., statements on or calls to change public policy positions) to influence international public policies, specifically intellectual property rights. To examine how multinational corporations employ language to achieve such objectives, I first used a corpus linguistics approach that involved collecting samples (i.e., public statements created by different multinational companies) from pharmaceutical companies. I then applied a critical discourse analysis (CDA) approach - as employed by individuals such as Fairclough (2003) - to study this corpus and gain a better understanding of how these companies represent political action language (i.e., language that encourages specific action in relation to certain public policies) related to international trade rights. Through this combination of corpus linguistics and a CDA-based analytical process, I identified three central or overarching patterns: similar lexical values, storytelling and strategic language. These three factors have important implications for how we understand and study the ways in which multinational organizations attempt to use language and texts to influence public opinions of globalization. They are also key factors to consider when examining how multinational organizations attempt to use written materials to shift public policy in guided ways. In terms of audience, this dissertation is targeted primarily toward socially conscious professional communicators -- communication professionals interested in having a positive impact on society - who need to understand how to develop and recognize language strategies that govern a given society. Within this context, it is important that socially conscious business communicators address the implications of the construction and maintenance of power (here defined as the ability to govern or control something) in order to become socially aware of how their language choices can affect globalization processes. Such an understanding allows these individuals to challenge the standard way of doing things and enact positive social change. This dissertation also seeks to provide educators in professional communication with an avenue to discuss the intersections of international business and political discourses in professional communication. In doing so, the ideas presented here can help these individuals challenge their students to critically analyze how language can be used to govern their lives. It also allows educators to help empower their students to become more critical consumers of information and, ideally, more engaged members of society.
Dawson, Joseph A.. (January 2014). CORPORATE ADVOCACY DISCOURSE : A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF CORPORATE POLITICAL ACTION LANGUAGE (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/4665.)
Dawson, Joseph A.. CORPORATE ADVOCACY DISCOURSE : A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF CORPORATE POLITICAL ACTION LANGUAGE. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, January 2014. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/4665. August 19, 2018.
Dawson, Joseph A., “CORPORATE ADVOCACY DISCOURSE : A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF CORPORATE POLITICAL ACTION LANGUAGE” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, January 2014).
Dawson, Joseph A.. CORPORATE ADVOCACY DISCOURSE : A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF CORPORATE POLITICAL ACTION LANGUAGE [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; January 2014.
East Carolina University