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The age of crime: A cognitive-linguistic critical discourse study of media representations and semantic framings of youth offenders in the Uruguayan media

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The age of crime: A cognitive-linguistic critical discourse study of media representations and semantic framings of youth offenders in the Uruguayan media. / Julios Costa, Maka.

In: Discourse and Communication, Vol. 11, No. 4, 2017, p. 362-385.

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@article{1b165f40e80546a2ba5586f7d1a53d15,
title = "The age of crime: A cognitive-linguistic critical discourse study of media representations and semantic framings of youth offenders in the Uruguayan media",
abstract = "This study integrates corpus-assisted text analysis with frame semantics to study a social problem. Taking a cognitive-linguistic approach to critical discourse studies (CDS), in this article I examine the linguistic construction of minors (i.e. people aged 13–18) in a corpus of 489 articles from the Uruguayan newspaper El Pa{\'i}s in the context of the so-called ‘Criminal Imputability Referendum’. Throughout, I focus on the construal operation of framing and identify a host of discursive patterns via which minors and adolescents are recurrently placed within the semantic frame CRIME, and within this, they profile the frame elements (as per the mappings in the database FrameNet) of perpetrators of violent crimes rather than victims (e.g. of abuse and domestic violence). I argue that, in the context of the referendum, these discursive strategies run the risk of facilitating the consolidation of a strong conceptual link whereby youth become readily associated with criminality (ignoring other aspects of children’s situation in Uruguay, such as their waning access to education, child poverty, child protection laws and health issues), and are subservient to the political views of groups supporting a lower cut-off age for criminal responsibility and more stringent punishments. The observations arrived at in this instance set the foundations for a future experimental study testing whether the discursive patterns unearthed here have an effect on how readers conceptualize minors outside the texts.",
keywords = "CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS, Cognitive Linguistics, Frame Semantics, CRIME, Minors, Corpus Linguistics, FrameNet, Criminal Justice System, Uruguay",
author = "{Julios Costa}, Maka",
note = "The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Discourse and Communication, 11 (4), 2017, {\circledC} SAGE Publications Ltd, 2017 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Discourse and Communication page: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/dcm on SAGE Journals Online: http://journals.sagepub.com/",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.1177/1750481317707378",
language = "English",
volume = "11",
pages = "362--385",
journal = "Discourse and Communication",
issn = "1750-4813",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The age of crime: A cognitive-linguistic critical discourse study of media representations and semantic framings of youth offenders in the Uruguayan media

AU - Julios Costa, Maka

N1 - The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Discourse and Communication, 11 (4), 2017, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2017 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Discourse and Communication page: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/dcm on SAGE Journals Online: http://journals.sagepub.com/

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - This study integrates corpus-assisted text analysis with frame semantics to study a social problem. Taking a cognitive-linguistic approach to critical discourse studies (CDS), in this article I examine the linguistic construction of minors (i.e. people aged 13–18) in a corpus of 489 articles from the Uruguayan newspaper El País in the context of the so-called ‘Criminal Imputability Referendum’. Throughout, I focus on the construal operation of framing and identify a host of discursive patterns via which minors and adolescents are recurrently placed within the semantic frame CRIME, and within this, they profile the frame elements (as per the mappings in the database FrameNet) of perpetrators of violent crimes rather than victims (e.g. of abuse and domestic violence). I argue that, in the context of the referendum, these discursive strategies run the risk of facilitating the consolidation of a strong conceptual link whereby youth become readily associated with criminality (ignoring other aspects of children’s situation in Uruguay, such as their waning access to education, child poverty, child protection laws and health issues), and are subservient to the political views of groups supporting a lower cut-off age for criminal responsibility and more stringent punishments. The observations arrived at in this instance set the foundations for a future experimental study testing whether the discursive patterns unearthed here have an effect on how readers conceptualize minors outside the texts.

AB - This study integrates corpus-assisted text analysis with frame semantics to study a social problem. Taking a cognitive-linguistic approach to critical discourse studies (CDS), in this article I examine the linguistic construction of minors (i.e. people aged 13–18) in a corpus of 489 articles from the Uruguayan newspaper El País in the context of the so-called ‘Criminal Imputability Referendum’. Throughout, I focus on the construal operation of framing and identify a host of discursive patterns via which minors and adolescents are recurrently placed within the semantic frame CRIME, and within this, they profile the frame elements (as per the mappings in the database FrameNet) of perpetrators of violent crimes rather than victims (e.g. of abuse and domestic violence). I argue that, in the context of the referendum, these discursive strategies run the risk of facilitating the consolidation of a strong conceptual link whereby youth become readily associated with criminality (ignoring other aspects of children’s situation in Uruguay, such as their waning access to education, child poverty, child protection laws and health issues), and are subservient to the political views of groups supporting a lower cut-off age for criminal responsibility and more stringent punishments. The observations arrived at in this instance set the foundations for a future experimental study testing whether the discursive patterns unearthed here have an effect on how readers conceptualize minors outside the texts.

KW - CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS

KW - Cognitive Linguistics

KW - Frame Semantics

KW - CRIME

KW - Minors

KW - Corpus Linguistics

KW - FrameNet

KW - Criminal Justice System

KW - Uruguay

U2 - 10.1177/1750481317707378

DO - 10.1177/1750481317707378

M3 - Journal article

VL - 11

SP - 362

EP - 385

JO - Discourse and Communication

JF - Discourse and Communication

SN - 1750-4813

IS - 4

ER -