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A Correlation between Unequal Power Relations and the Way Language is Used - Assignment Example

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 This essay analyses a correlation between unequal power relations and the way language. It discusses verbal communication among the members of the human community essentially has three stages. For example, the first of them is the idea that the speaker/writer wishes to convey…
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A Correlation between Unequal Power Relations and the Way Language is Used
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Download file to see previous pages The second of the three stages is all the more important because it has a lot to do with one’s spontaneity and judgment which ultimately become the major deciding factors in making the communication successful and effective. That is how the world draws the line of distinction between ‘great orators/authors’ and the mediocre and the bad.
The choice of words, however, is a function of one’s instincts, emotions, and needs. The desire to dominate, to control, to feel powerful is a universal instinct that defies the boundaries of time and space. It is, therefore, not at all surprising that this basic instinct, or rather a base instinct, successfully manages to creep into all human transactions and manifests itself, more noticeably in the process of verbal communication.
But, at the same time, the need to ‘get things done’ is also a matter of uppermost concern, and its importance cannot be understated. It is this factor that has the power to suppress the urge to dominate; it makes one willing to subordinate himself in a transaction. In any given instance, it is either the urge to dominate or the need to subordinate that finally stays, and it is decided by the prevailing equation of power in the given context. It boils down to the conclusion that “our words are never neutral; they carry the power that reflects the interests of those who speak or write.” (John Fiske, 1994; Fowler, et. al., 1979)
An interesting quality of dominant discourse is that it usually represents and reinforces the interests of the elite section of the society. Professor Sue L. T. McGregor, in Critical Discourse Analysis – A Primer, says, “One of the central attributes of dominant discourse is its power to interpret conditions, issues, and events in favor of the elite.”
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