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Proximization Theory and Critical Discourse Studies: A Promising Connection?

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The goal of this paper is to show how proximization theory, a recent cognitive-pragmatic model of crisis and threat construction, can be applied in Critical Discourse Studies (CDS). It is argued that the rapidly growing, intergeneric field of CDS is in need of new, interdisciplinary methodologies that will allow it to account for an increasingly broader spectrum of discourses, genres and thematic domains. Thus, proximization theory is used as a candidate methodological tool to handle three sample discourses—health, environment, modern technology—with a view to further applications. The results seem promising: the theory elucidates well the key features of public discourses within the CDS scope, for instance legitimization patterns in policy communication. Equally promising seem the prospects for proximization theory itself to continue to draw empirically from the expanding CDS territory.

Affiliations: 1: University of Łódź, Poland


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