Language as a means of social control and resistance: discourse analysis in a prison setting

Mayr, Andrea (2000) Language as a means of social control and resistance: discourse analysis in a prison setting. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 2000mayrphd.pdf] PDF
Download (22MB)
Printed Thesis Information:


This study is concerned with the linguistic analysis of a cognitive training programme for offenders which was run at Prison X in 1996.

Several Cognitive Skills classes run by prison officers and attended by groups of five to eight prisoners were videotaped and analysed to investigate the discourse practices used in these sessions. I also explored the written discourse of the Cognitive Skills Handbook used by the offenders as a reference-text for running the classes.

In my research, I have borrowed insights from Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), particularly Fairclough's three-dimensional model of discourse, as it forms a framework for studying language in its relation to power and ideology. I have attempted to show through this case study that the discursive practices investigated are ideological in that they produce and reproduce unequal power relations in the way they represent and classify offenders. Following the Hallidayan tradition, I have taken a systemic functional approach as my point of departure for the analysis and interpretation of texts.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Supervisor's Name: Corbett, Dr. John
Date of Award: 2000
Depositing User: Elaine Ballantyne
Unique ID: glathesis:2000-1363
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:38

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year