The interplay of identity, voice and resistance: Emancipatory discourses in action

Even though one of the aims of research in critical discourse analysis (CDA) is to demonstrate how social inequality, power abuse and discriminatory practices can be resisted, the majority of studies have centered on the deconstruction of oppression and ideologically driven discrimination rather than the reconstruction of resistance (Hughes, 2018). These studies, largely focusing on the discourses of the powerful, have researched the way ideology works through discourse to maintain unequal power structures. Hence, the role of CDA research in highlighting the importance of emancipatory discourses as well as shedding light on issues bordering on the voice, agency and empowerment of marginalized or oppressed groups and less powerful people is lacking in the literature or has not been strongly emphasized. This Special Issue will address this gap.

The Special Issue is concerned with discourses that serve emancipatory agendas and, thus, aims to put the spotlight on CDA’s commitment to a discourse of social change. It is expected that papers in this issue will focus on discourse that expresses the concerns of marginalized or oppressed groups (in terms of sex/gender, sexuality, race, religion, indigeneity, colonialism/imperialism, etc.) from their own perspective and the ways by which they counter discriminatory practices directed at them. It is intended that the issue will help reveal, develop and bring into focus the following:

  • the role of language in promoting social equality and cohesion, solidarity and political reconciliation;
  • how feminists re-make gender relations in our world;
  • how indigenous people overcome their colonial heritage;
  • how migrants renovate their new environs; and
  • how marginalized and/or minority groups actively resist injustices such as discrimination, exclusion and oppression.

By focusing on the processes, practices and discursive strategies of emancipatory discourses as well as the impact of such discourses, this Special Issue will illuminate how marginalized (disempowered) groups or oppressed peoples reconstruct their experiences in a manner that gives them voice, agency and a positive identity. It is, thus, hoped that papers in this issue will explore some of (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Discourses on colonialism, imperialism and repression
  • Discourses on indigenous people
  • Discourse of resistance
  • Refugee discourse
  • Immigrant/migration discourse
  • Feminist discourse analysis
  • Race/racialization
  • Identity-construction
  • Role of (post-independence) leaders in political decolonization processes
  • Discourse as an inspiring artifact

Submission Instructions

Please send your abstract of up to 350 words to by March 31 2020. In your abstract, please clearly state the aims and research questions of your paper, its theoretical background, the data and analytical methods used as well as indicative findings. Inquiries about the issue can also be sent to the email address provided above.

Proposed timeline

  • March 31 2020 – Abstracts due (up to 350 words excluding references)
  • September 30 2020 – First draft due (7000-8000 words including references)
  • December 31 2020 – Reviewers’ comments
  • April 30 2021 – Revision/final drafts due
  • July 31 2021 – Manuscript submission to the journal