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date: 30 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses specifically on the neglected discursive and cognitive dimensions of the theory of ideology, as part of Critical Discourse Studies (CDS). Ideologies are defined as basic shared systems of social cognitions of groups. They control group attitudes (e.g. about immigration, abortion, divorce, etc.) and mental models of group members about specific events and experiences. Polarized (Us versus Them) ideological representations and their categories (identity, actions, goals, norms/values, reference groups, and resources) control all levels of ideological discourse (topics, lexicon, meanings, interaction, etc.). The overall strategy of ideological discourse is the enhancement of Our Good Things, and Their Bad Things, and the Mitigation of Our Bad Things and Their Good Things, at all levels of discourse structure—the so-called Ideological Square. A debate in British Parliament on Asylum Seekers is used as an illustration of the theory.

Keywords: ideology, discourse, Critical Discourse Studies (CDS), cognition, social groups, attitudes, mental models

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