CDA - Power
Critical Discourse Analysis has a deep interest in power - what it is, who has it and why, and how it works.

Normally in CDA, this is dealt with as part of an advantaged/disadvantaged or privileged/exploited dynamic. However, in the area of food and farming, the situation in the UK seems rather more complex - there are farmers, food processors, global traders, retailers, consumers and government. Looking at this system from the perspective of power, one would say that the supermarkets and global-business companies have the most power at the moment, and that small farmers are the most disadvantaged in the UK system. However, it is very hard to look at this and find any deliberate oppression, and any oppression which might be occurring does not seem primarily to do with food supply.

Part of the role of Government is to ensure the supply of nourishing and affordable food for the population, and history has many examples of the overthrow of Governments which have failed in this task, so this is an area where power can be exerted. However, the existing system seems far removed from those days, and current concerns seem to involve the consumer's preference for cheap food with perfect appearance (but with additives) rather than more expensive products which would be healthier (such as organic products). It is difficult to entirely blame the suppliers for this, although there has been skilful marketing which may have misled the consumers as to their own best interests.

Although the system does not appear to be oppressive (which is the normal standpoint of CDA practitioners), there does appear to be many issues of power, which I look at more closely in the following pages of What is Power, and How Power Operates

 

Please contact me at george@whatever-will.be if you are interested in the above

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