Language, Power and Persuasion

Module code: EN3206

This module looks at how language is used by the powerful, considering the implications this has for our understanding of language, and the freedoms of society. We examine a range of spoken and written genres, including spoken conversation, parliamentary debates, fictional exchanges and political interviews, to identify the language strategies that characterise power in interaction. Drawing on theories of language from pragmatics and sociolinguisitcs, we critique how contextual factors such as speaker relationship, genre, and speaker intentionality inform and shape the dynamics of power, and how it can be won - and lost. Our approach considers a range of methodologies, ranging from corpus-based investigations, content analysis, quantitative measures and qualitative annotation.

Learning

  • 20 hours of seminars
  • 130 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Essay, 1,000 words (40%)
  • Essay, 2,000 words (60%)