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Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant

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Volume 33, Issue 2


Constructing “Remorse”: the preparation of social discourses for public consumption

Jill Hallett
Published Online: 2013-04-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2013-0009


This paper provides an analysis of heteroglossic mass-mediated discourse for a National Public Radio (NPR) segment. Two Chicago teenagers covered the story of five-year-old Eric Morse, who was pushed to his death from a fourteenth-story housing project window. On a micro-discursive level, each voice represented in this segment is an amalgamated blend of lived experiences with respect to this tragedy and the events surrounding it, as well as participation in speech chains of mass-communicative, historical, and segmental natures. While presented as a documentary examining a major news event in depth through “authentic” correspondents, this segment is edited and packaged to appeal to a certain demographic makeup. Macrosociological constructs of race, class, and social position are reflected in these highly localized discourses as these experiences are edited and “packaged” for a specific listening audience.

Keywords: discourse analysis; media; voicing; footing; race

About the article

Jill Hallett

Jill Hallett recently received her PhD in Linguistics from the University of Illinois, and is now an adjunct instructor in Linguistics at Northeastern Illinois University and in English as a Second Language at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Her dissertation takes a multimodal discourse analytic approach to African-American English in urban education, synthesizing her interests in sociolinguistics and second dialect acquisition. She has published and presented her research in American and world Englishes, classroom discourse, language in the media, and literature. Recent publications include studies of English variation, language in the media, language transfer, ethnography, Mayan linguistics, and several book reviews and notices. Address for correspondence: Northeastern Illinois University Department of Linguistics, 5500 N. St. Louis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625, USA.

Department of Linguistics, Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave., Chicago, IL 60625 USA

Published Online: 2013-04-12

Published in Print: 2013-03-30

Citation Information: Text & Talk, Volume 33, Issue 2, Pages 189–212, ISSN (Online) 1860-7349, ISSN (Print) 1860-7330, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2013-0009.

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©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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