Technologizing inhumanity: A discursive practice

McKenna, Bernard and Waddell, Neal (2006) Technologizing inhumanity: A discursive practice. Critical Discourse Studies, 3 2: 211-228. doi:10.1080/17405900600908129

Author McKenna, Bernard
Waddell, Neal
Title Technologizing inhumanity: A discursive practice
Journal name Critical Discourse Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1740-5904
Publication date 2006-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/17405900600908129
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 3
Issue 2
Start page 211
End page 228
Total pages 18
Editor J. Lemke
N. Fairclough
P. Graham
R. Wodak
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Subject C1
360201 Public Policy
780106 Political science and public policy
380205 Language in Culture and Society (Sociolinguistics)
Abstract A political interview intended to justify refugee detention in Australia is analysed using an interdisciplinary critical discourse method. Barthesian semiotic theory in which the 'Other' is the foundation of national myth provides a context for a close textual analysis using Hallidayan linguistics. The lexico-grammatical analysis identifies features associated with processes (verbs), grammatical metaphors, and nominals. Essentially, the effect is to blunt agency and distance the speaker, but, more importantly, create a classificatory system that allows humans to be treated in certain ways according to bureaucratic procedures. The discursive strategy is labelled technologizing the inhumane because it objectifies the subjective, turning profound human issues into technical issues. Analysed discursively, the interview reveals how discursive control is established and how democracy is represented as impeding the orderly procedure of 'objective' procedures.
Keyword technologizing discourse
grammatical metaphor
critical discourse
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
2007 Higher Education Research Data Collection
UQ Business School Publications
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 17:55:32 EST