Quotation Kopf, Susanne. 2015. In varietate concordia - the European Union’s online self-representation. Approaches to digital discourse analysis, Valencia, Spanien, 18.11-20.11.




The European Union launched the website “europa.eu” already in 1995. Since then, various attempts have been made to improve, streamline and unify the organisation’s institution-to-citizens communication. This paper presents a study on the outwardly directed self-representation of the European Union on the aforementioned institution’s official English website. In particular, this study provides an in-depth linguistic analysis of the narrative dealing with the EU's inception and development throughout history. In terms of methodology, it combines approaches of critical discourse analysis with more recent cognitive trends in the field. Halliday's systemic functional linguistics is used as a starting point. Furthermore though, the study incorporates metaphor analysis and an examination of intertextual references. This broad approach to the language material allows reliable and differentiated conclusions with respect to the general self-representation of the European Union but also with regard to ideologies and legitimisation strategies present in the data. In addition, this work draws on Koller's concept of socio-cognitive representations (SCR) defined as a group’s shared outlook on aspects of the world pertaining to “beliefs and/or knowledge, […] the norms and values held by members of a discourse community, the attitudes and expectations deriving from the combination of beliefs/knowledge on the one hand and norms and values on the other, and the emotions that accrue to all of these elements” to delineate the overarching gestalt the EU attempts to project of itself to its citizens and various aspects thereof (Koller 2012). Among others, this analysis arrives at the conclusion that the EU portrays itself as a means through whose use peace and prosperity can be achieved. At the same time, the EU self-represents as an active force working towards certain goals.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Paper presented at an academic conference or symposium
Language English
Title In varietate concordia - the European Union¿s online self-representation
Event Approaches to digital discourse analysis
Year 2015
Date 18.11-20.11.
Country Spain
Location Valencia
URL http://adda.blogs.uv.es/


Kopf, Susanne (Details)
Institute for English Business Communication (Köster) (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
6903 Humanities (interdisciplinary) (Details)
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