Mediated discourse analysis

Authored by: Suzie Wong Scollon , Ingrid de Saint-Georges

The Routledge Handbook of Discourse Analysis

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415551076
eBook ISBN: 9780203809068
Adobe ISBN: 9781136672927


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In December 1972 Ron and Suzie Scollon lived in Honolulu under the flight path of tankers flying to Guam to refuel B-52 bombers headed for Vietnam. From December 18th through the 29th, especially on Christmas Day, they noticed a great increase in the number of tankers. Ron reported this to friends who were active in protesting the war, but they did not believe his report, saying they had not read about it in the IF Stone weekly. This event marked an early stage in Ron's thinking about mediated discourse, as he observed that highly educated and well informed people would not believe what they could see with their own eyes and hear with their own ears had they chosen to do so. One, a professor of syntax, telephoned Senator Patsy Mink, who denied any knowledge of escalation. Not until they read about the operation in print did they believe it was happening. We now know that there was a secret “Operation Linebacker II,” a massive bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong.

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