By drawing on Norman Fairclough's seminal study New Labour, new language?, this article sets out to address and overcome a problematic issue in a ‘Faircloughean' CDA: the premise that discourse's rhetorical orientation is geared towards the concealment of problematic ‘extra-discursive' interests. This article proposes that ideological agents' discourse can also be explored without a priori assigning dubious or concealed commitments and investments to these producers. Problematic interests, in this view, are not only something that discourse producers have and conceal, but also what they might anticipate being accused of having. Considering ‘stake' and interest as a discursive concern rather than a cause for discourse initially grounds this proposition in a kind of ‘emic' discourse-analytical endeavour. Yet, this article does not set out to argue against an ‘etic' CDA, but seeks to provide an alternative to approaching projects for social change as discursive operations and sites of hegemonic struggle.

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ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture
Critical Approaches to Discourse across Disciplines
Department of Media and Communication

Engelbert, J. (2012). From Cause to Concern: Critical Discourse Analysis and Extra-discursive Interests. Critical Approaches to Discourse across Disciplines, 5(2), 54–71. Retrieved from