Peter Fleming, Professor of Business and Society at City University of London, publishes today an opinion article in which he states that only wealthy people will be able to retire in future. The article discusses some of the consequences such scenario would have in society, especially concerning health and personal welfare of all of us in future. This is very much in line with the austerity policies that have been adopted in the last years, and consequences would be devastating in terms of health and personal welfare, even negative from a business point of view. But the important point for me in this article is that Fleming departs from this scary vision to pose the idea that “the important thing to remember […] is that none of this is as ‘inevitable’ as the politicians would have us think”. The author suggests that this is an ideological issue, that there is money for the NHS and pensions, but that this is being placed anywhere else.
Have you ever thought which the impact on society would be if the pensions scheme would collapse? Isn’t it a reality that, at present, there are already many people who can’t retire or do it with very negative consequences?
Peter Fleming (The Guardian) – Welcome to the new dark ages, where only the wealthy can retire
The following DINEQ-related article by Michael Toolan has just been published in Discourse & Society:
Toolan, Michael. 2016. “Peter Black, Christopher Stevens, class and inequality in the Daily Mail”. Discourse & Society. 27 (6): 642-660.
Abstract: This article is part of a larger study of changes in British newspaper representations of wealth inequality in the United Kingdom from 1971 to the present day. Selected findings are reported from a corpus-linguistically based comparative critical discourse analysis of large samples (approximately 55,000 words each) of TV programme reviews that appeared in the Daily Mail, written by the TV critics Peter Black (in 1971) and Christopher Stevens (in 2013). Occurrences of class and its collocates and co-texts are a particular focus of attention. In Black’s reviews, it is a recurrent contemporary concern and recognised as indicative of inequality of opportunity. In Stevens’ much longer stories, class has largely disappeared from the discursive agenda of contemporary Britain and is only mentioned in relation to the past or other countries. By 2013, it seems to have become ‘natural’ not to discuss class and present-day wealth inequality in Mail TV reviews. The part-quantitative, part-qualitative methodology adopted here suggests that the tracing of something as masked as the discursive acceptance of wealth inequality must inevitably be more piecemeal and multi-factorial than other more sharply and overtly categorised forms of discrimination (based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or religion, for example).
Read the paper
Here we leave you with the letters in Saturday’s Guardian, dealing with exploitation and lies in the new world of work. See especially John Holroyd’s excellent letter about vocabulary change desensitizing us to what new conditions mean. Especially for those who still think language does not matter!
The Guardian – Exploitation and lies in the new world of work
Hello everybody and thank you for visiting this site.
We would like to use this place to share the activities conducted throughout the duration of the project (Sept. 2016 to Aug. 2018) and to provide you with some useful information we may find relevant to the field. This is all about Economic Inequality in the British press, but also about Critical Discourse Analysis and Corpus Linguistics as the tools that will allow as to determine the role of language in this sort of media representation.
Please feel free to leave any reply to the posts or contact us with any insight, question, reflection or comment on the topic. This will increase debate, which is always attractive!
Welcome on board,