Drinkopoly: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Linguistic Representation of Alcohol in British and Russian Newspapers





Critical Discourse Analysis, Alcohol, Russia, UK, Cross-cultural linguistic studies


Drawing from the main theoretical tenets of the socio-cognitive approach to Critical Discourse Analysis, this study investigates the linguistic strategies adopted to represent alcohol in a self-compiled dataset of articles from three British and Soviet (Russian) broadsheets published between 1990 and 2000. While most research on alcohol-related discourse in the UK and the USSR/Russia addresses the question from a socio-economic perspective, insufficient attention has been paid to the complex linguistic relationship between discourse meaning and the ideological instantiation of private and/or socially shared attitudes that guides the public debate on alcohol. The articles have been qualitatively analysed and linked back to three main cognitive models, i.e., legitimisation, delegitimisation, and neutral. The analysis reveals that while Soviet (Russian) newspaper discourse stresses the importance of state-driven alcohol production and sale to replenish the national budget revenue, English newspapers voice greater concern over health issues related to alcohol abuse.

Author Biographies

Dario Del Fante, Istituto di Linguistica Computazionale "A.Zampolli" - Centro Nazionale Ricerche - Pisa

Research Fellow

Marco Biasio, University of Padova

Indipendent Researcher


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Articles (general section) - English language and linguistics