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Critical Discourse Analysis

  1. Bernhard Forchtner

Published Online: 5 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0272

The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics

How to Cite

Forchtner, B. 2012. Critical Discourse Analysis. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 NOV 2012


Critical discourse analysis (CDA, nowadays also referred to as critical discourse studies) investigates naturally occurring written and spoken language beyond the sentence level, as well as other forms of meaning making, such as visuals and sounds, seeing them as irreducible elements in the (re)production of society. However, critical discourse analysis furthermore aims to demystify the role language plays in the (re)production of unjustified domination and inequality, and questions the social conditions in which these discourses are embedded. This has made CDA an increasingly popular, and still evolving, approach over the last two decades. This entry offers an introductory overview of the core principle, diverging strands, and controversies in the field.


  • applied ethics;
  • discourse analysis;
  • ethics