Assumptions, Coherence, and Inference
Although the links between ideology and discourse might appear to be tenuous, closer inspection reveals that the two are closely intertwined. Ideology imbues discourse with a particular meaning by creating certain expectations, thereby encouraging audiences to make assumptions about the purpose of a speech. Thus, the coherence of discourse—in other words, the logical structuring of an argument—is facilitated (Fairclough 79). As a result, the audience develops an idea about the subject under discussion, gaining inference.
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Where Interactional Routines End: Defining the Boundaries
The environment where the process of communication takes place typically determines the components of discourse. For example, in a business setting, economic decisions associated with purchasing, marketing, and other elements of trade form a frame for dialogue. Overstepping the boundaries that the choice of discussion topic establishes may lead to miscommunication and conflict (Fairclough 81). Fairclough (81) further expands the argument by stating that interactional routines should be regarded as important guidelines in successfully managing a conversation.
Variation and Its Connection to Ideology
Even in an environment that mostly represents a single ideology, variations in opinions are inevitable. Therefore, discourse can align with diverse assumptions and be interpreted from differing points of view. As a rule, ideology is incorporated into discourse for political purposes (Fairclough 84). While this tendency brings the objectivity of discourses into question, it may alternatively help to manage crises. Therefore, the fact that a specific ideology is included in discourse should not be seen as entirely negative.
Subjects and Their Connection to Contexts and Situations
Fairclough (86) supports his previous statement by explaining that the presence of a particular ideology as a platform for building discourse also affects the choice of subject and the position that authors of discourses may take to convey their ideas. Positions on a subject, as well as types of naturalization, are prone to naturalization in the context of a particular discourse (Fairclough 87). As a result, the scope of discourse is contained within a set of specific boundaries. However, while subjects are typically linked to particular ideologies and contexts, viewing a specific problem in terms of different situations will help convey a certain message. Consequently, multiculturalism should be pursued when establishing a dialogue.
When Ideology Meets Context and Gains Meaning
As a rule, identifying several types of discourses is feasible according to the existing nomenclature. For example, when viewing subject matter from the perspective of a certain culture, it may be possible to recognize the presence of dominant and dominated discourses. Dominant ideologies imbue discourse with meaning by placing it in a context of a specific ideology (Fairclough 89). The assumptions made in the course of communication provide a platform for successful communication and create an opportunity for participants to reach an agreement. Thus, Fairclough offers additional support for his argument.
Creating the Foundation for Common Sense
A profound understanding of the factors that contribute to the development of assumptions can lend itself to a steep drop in the number of misconceptions during a conversation. Herein lies the significance of cultural awareness. When individuals engage in a multicultural conversation, differences in the participants’ assumptions may increase the threat of miscommunication (Fairclough 90). As a result, reaching an agreement becomes a problematic process. Moreover, conflicts may develop because of a lack of similarities between the assumptions of various participants. Therefore, identifying the commonsense nature of discourse is crucial to the effective management of the communication process.
Fairclough, Norman. Language and Power. 3rd ed. Routledge, 2014.
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