Seminar: Analysing Corporate Identity, Wed 4 Oct, Edinburgh Napier University


You are warmly invited to the following seminar in the series Researching Language and Identity in the 21st Century, hosted by the Languages Group at Edinburgh Napier.

Wed 4th October 2017, 3-4.30pm (Coffee and refreshments will be served)

Room 2/05, Edinburgh Napier Business School, Craiglockhart Campus, 219 Colinton Rd, Edinburgh EH14 1DJ – map [log in to unmask],-3.2394325,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x4ea0c6f360329f25?sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiq2bbPvejKAhWBYw8KHb8uCoIQ_BIIazAK”>here

Analysing corporate identity in discourse: the case of corporate social responsibility

Dr Veronika Koller (Lancaster University)


This paper presents an approach to the study of collective identity that employs a the socio-cognitive (van Dijk 2014, Koller 2012, 2014) strand in critical discourse studies. Drawing on social cognition theory, collective identities are understood as socio-cognitive representations of the group self, including its attributes, relational behaviour, goals and values, which are both constituted and negotiated by the interactions within a discourse community. Both discourse, as instantiated in textual interaction at the micro-level, as well as the models of collective identity that are engendered and negotiated in discourse, shape and are shaped by dynamic meso-level contexts of text production, distribution and reception, which are in turn mutually constitutive with the changing socio-political context at the macro-level. A socio-cognitive analysis of discourse enables the researcher to investigate what models of collective identities are salient in a discourse community at a given historical moment, how changes in those models can be traced in concrete texts and to discuss why these changes have taken place.

Following from these theoretical considerations, the linguistic analysis at the micro-level addresses parameters such as actor roles and evaluation, process types and modality, intertextuality and interdiscursivity. Textual analysis along these lines shows what attributes and behaviours are allocated to the collective self, what values and beliefs are ascribed to it and what concepts it is aligned with and demarcated from.

The theoretical and methodological approach is illustrated with examples from a text on corporate social responsibility.



Koller, V. (2012). How to analyse collective identity in discourse: textual and contextual parameters.Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines 5(2): 19-38.

Koller, V. (2014). Applying social cognition research to critical discourse studies: the case of collective identities. In: C. Hart and P. Cap (eds) Contemporary Critical Discourse Studies.London: Bloomsbury, pp. 147-165.

van Dijk, T. (2014): Discourse-cognition-society: current state and prospects of the socio-cognitive approach to discourse. In: Hart, C. and Cap, P. (eds) (2014): Contemporary Critical Discourse Studies. London: Bloomsbury, pp. 121-146.

For more information about the series, please contact Natalia Bremner [log in to unmask], Mabel Victoria [log in to unmask] and Michael Kranert [log in to unmask]

Dr Natalia Bremner, Lecturer in French, Edinburgh Napier

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