This course is discontinued

SOS9231/SOS9231B – Critical Discourse Analysis, Deliberative Democracy and Rhetorical Citizenship

Learning outcome

The course is focused on the documentation and analysis of public discourses in demo­cratic societies. In standard democratic theory it is presupposed that enlightened discourses are essential for the rationality and legitimacy of democratic nations. Public discoures can be documented and analyzed as all other kinds of empirical phenomena, descriptively and normatively: 1) They can be documented, compared and explained; and 2) they can be evaluated (“criticized”) on the basis of value standard, basically having to do with the truth of propositions and the legitimacy of norms, institutions and distributions. In this PhD-course pubic discourses will be analyzed by presenting and using theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches from three different, but related research traditions: critical discourse analysis, deliberative democracy and rhetorical citizenship.


The course is primarily oriented to Ph.d.-students in sociology, but also to doctoral students in related fields, and to interested researchers.The course is also  open for especially interested master-students. Master-students need to write a brief explanation for why the course will be useful for them under "Comments" in the application form.

PhD students at the Department of Sociology and Human Geography can gain both method and theory Points. They register for the course in Studentweb.

Interested participants outside the Department of Sociology and Human Geography shall fill out this application form.

The application deadline is 12th October 2015.


1. SCHEDULE (may be modified)

Place: Room 221, Harriet Holters Building (except the Wodak- and Kock-lecture)


Thursday  November 12th

09.15 – 10.45. Ruth Wodak (University of Lancaster): Normalization to the Right (Auditorium 5, Eilert Sundts Building)


11.00-11.30. Questions, comments and answers.


12.30 – 13.30. Jan Grue (University of Oslo): The voices of others. Public deliberation and discourses of inclusive marginalization. Includes time for Q&A.

13.45-14.45. Presentations from PhD-students.

15.00-16.00. Presentations from PhD-students.


Friday November 13th

0915 – 10.45. Christian Kock (University of Copenhagen): The Rhetorical Aspects of Citizenship: Analysis, Critique, Intervention. (Auditorium 3, Eilert Sundts Building)


11.00 -11.30. Questions, comments and answers.


12.30 – 13.30. Håkon Larsen (University of Oslo): Legitimation work in the public sphere: Deliberation, performance, critique. Includes time for Q&A.

13.45-14.45. Presentations from PhD-students.

15.00-16.00. Presentations from PhD-students.




Each lecturer has presented ca 100 pages of references to literature (see below). These ca 400 pages is required reading for all participants. Most of them will be made accessible for participants as pdf’s on fronter. 

Wodak’s lecture.

     Ruth Wodak, The Politics of Fear. London: Sage, 2015 Read here

     Ruth Wodak The Discourse of Politics in Action. Politics as Usual. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2009. (2nd rev. ed. 2011), 133-151.

     John Richardson & Ruth Wodak 'The impact of visual racism: Visual arguments in political leaflets of Austrian and British Far-right Parties' Controversia Vol. 6, Issue 2, 2009, 45 – 77

     András Kovács & Anna Szilágyi ‘Variations on a Theme: the Jewish ‘Other’ in Old and New Antisemitic Media Discourses in Hungary in the 1940s and 2011’ in Wodak, R. & J. Richardson (eds.) Analyzing Fascist Discourse: European Fascism in Talk and Text. London: Routledge, 2013, 203-228

     Ruth Wodak 'Anything Goes’ - The Haiderization of Europe. In: Rightwing Populism in Europe: Politics and Discourse. Wodak, R., Khosravinik, M. & Mral, B. (eds.). London: Bloomsbury, 2013: 23-38.

     Ruth Wodak 'Language and Politics', in J. Culpeper, F. Katamba, P. Kerswill, R. Wodak, T. McEnery (Eds.) (2009) English Language: Description, Variation and Context. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 576 - 593.

     Ruth Wodak & Michael Meyer 'Critical Discourse Analysis: history, agenda, theory, and methodology', in: Wodak, Ruth & Meyer, Michael (Eds.) Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Sage (2nd revised edition), 2009, 1-33


Grue’s lecture.

                 Crowe, Marie. "Constructing normality: a discourse analysis of the DSM‐IV." Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 7.1 (2000): 69-77. (9 pages)

       Grue, Jan (2011). Discourse analysis and disability: Some topics and issues. Discourse & Society 22: 532-546. (16 pages)

     Mitchell, David T. and Sharon L. Snyder (2000). Narrative Prosthesis and the Materiality of Metaphor. In Mitchell, David T. and Sharon L. Snyder. Narrative Prosthesis. Disability and the Dependencies of Discourse: 47-64). University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor. (17 pages)

     Solvang, Per. "The emergence of an us and them discourse in disability theory." Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research 2.1 (2000): 3-20. (17 pages)

     Titchkosky, Tanya and Rod Michalko (2012). The Body as the Problem of Individuality: A Phenomenological Disability Studies Approach. In Goodley, Dan, Bill Hughes and Lennard Davis. Disability and Social Theory. New Developments and Directions: 127-143. Palgrave Macmillan: London. (17 pages)

     Wilson, James C. and Cynthia Lewecki-Wilson (2001) Disability, Rhetoric and the Body. In Wilson, James C. and Cynthia Lewecki-Wilson. Embodied Rhetorics: Disability in Language and Culture. SIU Press: Carbondale: 1-24. (24 pages) Read here.


Larsen’s lecture.

          Alexander, J. C. & Mast, J. (2006) Introduction: symbolic action in theory and practice: the cultural pragmatics of symbolic action. In J. C. Alexander, B. Giesen & J. Mast (Eds), Social Performance Symbolic Action, Cultural Pragmatics, and Ritual. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Read here.

          Boltanski, L. & Thévenot, L. (1999). The Sociology of Critical Capacity. European Journal of Social Theory no. 2 (3):359-377.

          Habermas, J. (2006). Political communication in media society: does democracy still enjoy an epistemic dimension? The impact of normative theory on empirical research. Communication Theory, 16, 411-426.

          Lamont, M. & Thévenot, L. (2000). Introduction. Toward a renewed comparative cultural sociology. In M. Lamont & L. Thévenot (Eds.), Rethinking Comparative Cultural Sociology: Repertoires of Evaluation in France and the United States. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Read here.

          Larsen, H. (2010). Legitimation strategies of public service broadcasters: the divergent rhetoric in Norway and Sweden. Media, Culture and Society, 32(2), 267-283.

          Larsen, H. (2014). Legitimation work in state cultural organizations: The case of Norway. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 20(4), 456-470.



Kock’s lecture.

     Kock, Christian and Lisa Villadsen (2015). “Citizenship Discourse.” In Karen Tracy (General Editor), Cornelia Ilie and Todd Sandel (Associate Editors), The International Encyclopedia of Language and Social Interaction. Malden, MA (Wiley).

     Kock, Christian and Lisa Villadsen (2014). “Introduction: Rhetorical Citizenship as a Conceptual Frame: What We Talk About When We Talk About Rhetorical Citizenship.” In Christian Kock and Lisa Villadsen (Eds.), Contemporary Rhetorical Citizenship (Rhetoric in Society). Leiden (Leiden University Press), 9-26. 

     Kock, Christian (2007a). ”Norms of Legitimate Dissensus.” Informal Logic Vol. 27, No. 2, 179-196.

     Kock, Christian (2007b). “Dialectical Obligations in Political Debate.” Informal Logic Vol. 27, No. 3, 233-247.

     Kock, Christian (2014). ”Virtue reversed: Principal argumentative vices in political debate.” In Mohammed, D., & Lewiński, M. (Eds.). Virtues of Argumentation. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation (OSSA), 22-26 May 2013. Windsor, ON: OSSA, pp. 1-9.

     Mutz, Diana C. (2006). ”Chapter 1: Hearing the Other Side, in Theory and in Practice.” In Hearing the Other Side: Deliberative versus Participatory Democracy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 1-18.

     Villadsen, Lisa Storm (2014). ”More than a Nice Ritual: Official Apologies as a Rhetorical Act in Need of Theoretical Re-Conceptualization.” In Hilde van Belle; Kris Rutten; Paul Gillaerts; Dorien van de Mieroop; Baldwin van Gorp (Eds). Let's Talk Politics: New Essays on Deliberative Rhetoric. (Argumentation in Context, Vol. 6). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 27-43.





     Condit, Celeste Michelle. "Crafting virtue: The rhetorical construction of public morality." Quarterly Journal of Speech 73.1 (1987): 79-97.

     Garsten, Bryan. "The rhetoric revival in political theory." Annual Review of Political Science 14 (2011): 159-180.

     Gring‐Pemble, Lisa M. "Writing themselves into consciousness: Creating a rhetorical bridge between the public and private spheres." Quarterly Journal of Speech 84.1 (1998): 41-61.

     Hariman, Robert. "Amateur hour: Knowing what to love in ordinary democracy." The prettier doll: Rhetoric, discourse, and ordinary democracy (2007): 218-249.

     Jasinski, James. ”Deliberative Discourse”. Sourcebook on Rhetoric: Key Concepts in Contemporary Rhetorical Studies (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2001), 160-163.

     Roberts-Miller, Patricia. "Dissent As “Aid and Comfort to the Enemy”: The Rhetorical Power of Naïve Realism and Ingroup Identity." Rhetoric Society Quarterly 39.2 (2009): 170-188.



Ph.D.-students eighter obtain 6 or 3 ETCS credits on this course.

In order to get 6 ETCS credits (SOS9231) a paper is required. Ph.D.-students will have the possibility of presenting their plan for a paper and having them commented and evaluated during the seminar. The topic of the paper shall be related to the topics of the seminar, so that lectures and readings are used in the work with the paper. The general design of the paper shall be approved beforehand by those giving the course. The size of the paper is 15-20 pages (6-8000 words). It shall be sent to Katalin Godberg no later than January 1st 2015.

In addition required reading for those wanting 6 ECTS credits, is ca. 800 pages. The reading list will then consist of 1) the required reading presented below (ca 400 pages) and 2) an individualized section. The readings mentioned after each of the four lecures is the required reading. In addition the student chooses 400 pages extra, depending on interests and the focus of the paper. The list has to be approved by the organizers.

Participants obtain 3 ECTS credits (SOS9231B) by giving an indepth oral presentation related to lectures and readings. The presetation should be 20-30 minutes long followed by questions and comments.

Required reading for those wanting 3 ECTS credits, is 1) the required reading presented below (ca 400 pages) and 2) an individualized section (ca. 200 pages).

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2015

12-13th November 2015


Autumn 2015

Teaching language