Research in Critical Discourse Studies - Website Teun A. van Dijk


Discourse & Society: Criteria for Preferred Papers



Contributions to Discourse & Society should satisfy the following criteria:

1. Systematic discourse analysis. Discourse & Society is primarily a discourse analytical journal. That is, articles should provide a detailed, systematic and theoretically based analysis of text or talk. It is insufficient to merely quote, summarize or paraphrase such discourse, or to comment only on their 'content' without paying attention to any kind of non-trivial discourse structures.

This means that articles are preferred that focus on specific structures, processes or strategies of discourse that are not self-evident to the casual reader. These may include grammatical, stylistic, rhetorical, narrative or argumentative structures; cognitive processes and mental representations; pragmatic, conversational or interactional dimensions of socially situated talk; or the political or cultural functions or implications of such discourses, among many other properties of communicative events. For detail, see  What do we mean by 'discourse analysis'?

See also the very useful discussion paper of the Loughborough discourse analysis group:  "Discourse Analysis Means Doing Analysis."

Discourse & Society does not publish exclusively theoretical papers, but each paper should feature a prominent theoretical section and a critical review of the relevant literature as a foundation for empirical research. Theoretical notes or short discussion pieces are welcome for the D&S Forum section. It goes without saying that both theory and analysis should make an original contribution to the field.

2. Explicit social analysis. As its title suggests, Discourse & Society particularly welcomes articles that study the social contexts of discourse, the discursive dimensions of social structures or any other relation between discourse and society (including politics and culture). Social and political analyses should be explicit and theoretically based. Ideally, D&S articles should provide a unique integration of discourse analysis and social analysis.

Among other aims, Discourse & Society encourages work that critically studies relevant social, political or cultural issues and problems, such as the discursive aspects of various types of domination, inequality and resistance.

3. A sizeable corpus of data. Articles are preferred that are based on a sizeable corpus of interesting texts or talk collected by the author(s) themselves, and not merely on a single or few discourses. Authors are expected to have a thorough knowledge of, and experience with, the corpus, domain or genre of discourse being analyzed, for instance as a result of an extended research project, so as to facilitate empirical generalizations. Analyses should be illustrated by several extracts quoted in the text.

4. Multidisciplinary, multicultural, international. The study of the relations between discourse and society takes place in several disciplines, in many countries and by women and men from many different cultural backgrounds. Discourse & Society highly values this diversity and particularly invites contributions which reflect such diversity in their authorship, theories, methods, data and the use of scholarly literature.

5. Accessibility. Discourse & Society aims to be accessible to readers from a broad range of disciplines, and of various levels of specialization and expertise, especially including students. For theoretical, methodological, pedagogical and social reasons, therefore, contributions should be well-organized, have a clear style, avoid esoteric jargon, and explain unfamiliar or new technical concepts.

6. Diversity. We welcome papers from women and men, from many countries and continents, from various contemporary approaches, using many different data, theories, methods and aims. Since the discourse journals are often overbooked, this also means that the same author(s) usually cannot submit another paper withing a few years, so as to give also other authors a chance to get published.

See also: Aims and Scope and Instructions to Authors (Stylesheet)