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[Xmca-l] Re: A methodological question


It's a good project, and I agree that the task is not to try to find what
Castro is hiding, but rather to understand how he is bringing out what is

That's what I was trying to do in using systemic-functional grammar to
analyze Trump's speech, though. I think that the key to understanding Trump
is understanding that he is bringing out what was hidden in his
predecessors, especially Reagan ("young bucks", "Cadillac welfare moms"),
the Bushes (Willie Horton, "crusade") but also Bill Clinton, Joe Biden and
even Barack Obama ("Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive" is really another
way of saying that corporations are people too). In all of these speakers,
things are hidden in the lexis. Trump uses very simple words (a Twitter
habit, and also something that helps him end so many sentences with a
single falling stress). So a lot of what he wants to actually say has to be
in the grammar (especially his uses of appraisal: "so-called", "sad",
"tremendous", "disaster").

So I think one way to start analyzing Castro's speeches would be to use the
same technique I used for Trump's: Addressee, Theme, Subject, Actor. One
advantage of doing this is that it can be done in part by machine--by using
wagsoft or sysfunc or just using the lancsbox concordance software. This
might be necessary, because some of his speeches are pretty long. I would
say that "addressee" is particularly important in Castro: he's quite clear
about who he's talking to and why, and in this he is not at all like Trump,
who is used to talking to whoever is watching TV at that particular moment.

Here are some websites:


David Kellogg
Macquarie University

On Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 6:43 AM, Ulvi İçil <ulvi.icil@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear xmcas,
> I would like to direct to you a methodological question and to kindly have
> your idea.
> I am reading Fidel Castro's speeches. They are full of critiques of
> neoliberal globalization, capitalism and so on.
> If I would like to study those speeches in terms of the adult educational
>  aspects, elements they possess (because they are addresses to conscience
> of the adult world, mostly Cuban people, various sections of Cuban people
> and society) I wonder what would be the best methodology.
> For a study something like: Critical discourse in Fidel Castro's speeches.
> Not CDA, I suppose, because, my aim will not be looking at what lies behind
> and hidden in these speeches, because they already demystify capitalism
> etc. which means that as an analyst I have a subjectivity which is on the
> side of Castro rather than aiming at criticizing him, I intend to make
> visible what he criticizes in the global neoliberal world.
> Discourse analysis?
> Thinking that I intend to include into the study all the emotional,
> spiritual elements in those speeches, with many evaluations, qualifications
> like "teaching, medicine nobel professions" etc.
> Should I study something on the line like "critical discourse (embedded) in
> Fidel Castro's speeches"?
> If yes, how?
> And if not, what may be the best possible methodological alternative?
> It is so interesting that while I studied the valuable works of Norman
> Fairclough on CDA, on the critique of globalisation etc, which, for the
> focus of study, they have, various aspects of capitalist, transnational
> company discourse etc, I found that same critique not as an analysis, but,
> itself, in Fidel Castro's public speeches, criticizing neoliberal
> globalisation etc, so how to study Castro's speech texts?!
> Thank you very much.
> Ulvi