Legitimation in Discourse and Communication

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The article sets out a framework for analyzing the way discourses construct legitimation for social practices in public communication as well as everyday interaction. Four key categories are recognized: (a) authorization, legitimation by reference to the authority of tradition, custom and law, and of persons in whom institutional authority is vested, (2) moral evaluation, legitimation by reference to discourses of value, (3) rationalization, legitimation by reference to the goals and uses of institutionalized social action and to the social knowledges that endow them with cognitive validity, and (4) mythopoesis, legitimation conveyed through narratives whose outcomes reward legitimate actions and punish non-legitimate actions
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Discourse Analysis : Concepts, History, Theory
EditorsRuth Wodak
Number of pages23
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherSAGE Publications
Publication date2013
ISBN (Print)978-1-4462-1058-1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
SeriesSAGE Benchmarks in Language and Linguistics


  • aiuthority, communication, compulsory education, context, discourse, moral discourses


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