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The Discursive Construction of National Identity
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Ruth Wodak is Distinguished Professor of Discourse Studies at Lancaster University. Rudolf de Cillia is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Vienna. Martin Reisigl is a Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics, University of Vienna, and an Austrian Programme for Advanced Research and Technology (APART) Research Fellow of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Karin Liebhart is a Researcher in the Department of Political Sciences, University of Vienna.

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Announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/20/20-298.html AUTHORS: Ruth Wodak, Rudolf de Cillia, Martin Reisigl, and Karin Liebhart TITLE: The Discursive Construction of National Identity SUBTITLE: Second edition PUBLISHER: Edinburgh University Press YEAR: 2009 Derek Irwin, English Studies, University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus SUMMARY As a previous reviewer has pointed out (Galasinska 2010), reviewing this volume is a daunting task: it has been highly praised by very discerning critics, from its first German publication in 1998, through three other printings, until the arrival of this expanded volume. Although making a name as the harshest reviewer of this text is somewhat tempting, such would be a hard sell indeed: it is meticulous, accurate, and impressive in both its scope and depth. The general goal of the book is to explore how Austrians negotiate various forms of being Austrian in spoken texts, from the public speeches of political leaders, through group discussions, and into private interviews. There are thus a number of variables present, including the degree of dissemination of the various texts to a wider audience, the relative power of the speaker over the issues in question, and the level of formality in text production, to name a few. The analysis takes advantage of these different contexts of production to systematically explore the various content and strategies that different speakers use in different situations to create and negotiate ideas of national identity, and presents the findings in such a way as to suggest their applicability outside of the specific Austrian milieu. The text is "a considerably abbreviated version of the German edition" (p. 1), although the present edition does have an updated chapter in which the analysis is brought up to the year 2008. The main arc of the arguments is therefore made more convincing, as well as contemporaneous. The book comprises eight chapters, as well as two appendices which include listings of the publicly-available data. The chapters are as follows: 1. Introduction This short introduction serves to provide the theoretical orientation with which the authors explore the creation of national identity in Austrian discourse. However, the authors do point out that, following on Wodak (1996), "we do not limit ourselves to theory-building, but place great emphasis on the analysis of our empirical data" (p. 2). The analysis aims to "conceptualise and identify the various macrostrategies employed in the construction of national identities and to describe them using a hermeneutic-abductive approach" (p. 3) - in other words, the authors emphasize their ability to interpret what is significant in the data, assumedly because of prior familiarity with the discourse and culture. Two key theoretical underpinnings are the following of Benedict Anderson's (1983) notion of nations as "imagined communities," and the concept that national identities are "malleable, fragile and, frequently, ambivalent and diffuse" (p. 4). This text thus argues for a break from the traditional national constructs of the Staatsnation and Kulturnation (p. 6). 2. The Discursive Construction of National Identity This chapter deals with the two major issues in the title, namely those of "identity" and the means with which to analyse it in various types of discourse of nationhood. In broad strokes, it uses the Vienna School of Critical Discourse Analysis method of triangulation (as per Cicourel 1969), i.e. "discursive phenomena are approached from a variety of methodological and theoretical perspectives taken from various disciplines" (p. 9). While perhaps open to accusations of subjectivity, this approach allows the analyst to synthesize various forms of text through a range of disciplinary methodologies, yielding results which are contextually bound yet meaningful in other situations with similar variables of nationhood and identity construction. Such fluidity is also important in the approach because the notion of "identity" is itself fluid (p. 11), through various forms such as those of self, narrative, system-related, national, and, in fact, multiple. Out of these, perhaps the most pertinent to this study is that of the narrative identity, as that is the means through which the imagined national figure - the "homo nationalis" - is constructed, and there is a thorough discussion here of the various means with which the story of the nation is created. The discursive practices are similarly thoroughly laid out in this chapter, divided into the "contents" and "strategies" employed in various discourses. The means and forms through which these contents and strategies are employed are laid out in a series of tables (2.1-2.5, pp. 36-42), which provide a means of replicating this sort of study in other contexts. 3. On Austrian Identity: The Scholarly Literature This chapter provides the service of contextualization for readers not familiar with the Austrian context, giving an historical overview as well as a window into the practice of Austrian self-definition. It simultaneously recognizes the efforts to define the Austrian national identity, while at the same time showing some of the problems with this process given the fact that much of the identification is done against Germany while simultaneously being conducted in (Austrian) German. Further, there are a large number of Austrians who are not unilingual; "members of local, regional, ethnic and national minorities are subject to a far more complicated interplay of situation-specific, multiple identity constructions than are those who belong exclusively to a unilingual majority" thus resulting in multiple identities (p. 57). Even in those areas in which identity seems fairly well-established, there are problems. The first is historical, and has to do with Austria's complicated relationship with the National Socialists during the Second World War, both resisting and enabling the crimes of that state. The second is political, and has to do with the identification of Austria as a neutral state while simultaneously risking losing that important piece of self-identity with the joining of the EU. The ways that these problems are dealt with in the discourse are explored in further chapters. 4. The Public Arena: Commemorative Speeches and Addresses This chapter deals with the most public discourse, that of political leaders. The analysis here is largely concerned with the content of these texts, in which it is found that "they assigned praise or blame to certain moments of Austria's past or present" (p. 70) and that "the thematic texture centres almost exclusively on the narration of a common political past and on the discursive construction of a common political present and future" (p. 74). In building up the "imagined community" of Austria, these speakers first had to confront the past of National Socialism, which they generally did by creating an equivalence of victimhood: all Austrians suffered equally through that point in history. Moving to the present and future, the public speakers provided a kind of "locus amoenus": "a 'beautiful landscape' often mentioned in a more general sense to refer to the common national territory or serving to depict a rather abstract ideal political place where human beings live together happily, in affluence, in harmony and without conflicts" (p. 98). Of course, it was found that the more power the politicians had over the body politic, the more likely they were to employ this theme, thus justifying and hopefully perpetuating their roles in the state. 5. Semi-Public Discussion: The Focus Group Interviews This data was quite interesting, as the authors were able to use it "to follow closely patterns of recontextualisation and the transformation of elite concepts of national identity during group interactions" (p. 107). In fact, the group context was also significant as it led to the participants negotiating and co-constructing the underlying features of national identity, generally building consensus instead of asserting definitions - and thus some were able to question the statements of the public discourse, even to the point where a group dismissed a speech "as typical 'politicians' babble' because of its ambivalence and vagueness" (p. 132). These groups tended to stress the inclusion of all members, simultaneously expressing "explicit emphasis or presupposition of intra-national similarity and sameness as well as emphasis of national singularity and autonomy" (p. 141). They did this in discourse by such devices as metonymically employing "Austria" for the population, or using the somewhat vague "we" to sketch out in-groups. 6. Semi-Private Opinions: The Qualitative Interviews These twenty-four sessions were set up "to resemble informal open-ended, private conversations [thus] there was little observable pressure to articulate statements conforming to group opinions or politically correct statements" (p. 146). Because of the open-ended nature, there were also some topics brought in that the participants believed important to the notion of identity that were not mentioned in other forums. The "homo Austriacus" here did not have such a tight focus on nationality; "even where interviewees emphasised citizenship as a criterion for national membership and identity (which, by the way, did not occur very often), most of them pointed to linguistically, culturally and ethnically defined elements of Austrian self-perception at a later point in the interview" (pp. 150-51). Significantly, it appears that the identification here was less about finding a national character to agree upon the "Austrian-ness" of, but rather to see how notions of that character could be used to project elements of the self into. In dealing with the national past, most of the participants believed it necessary to confront it. "However, the interviewees scarcely ever indicated that they saw any connection to current and everyday racism and exclusionary practices. The topos of 'history teaching lessons', frequent in political speeches, seems to be of no relevance in the individual-private discourse of national identity" (p. 168). Also significant here was that as individuals, participants tended to be much more positive towards the EU, contradicting the general consensus of groups in the last chapter and, more overtly, the Austrian population in general (p. 172). 7. Conclusion: Imagined and Real Identities - the Multiple Faces of the "homo nationalis" The authors here present those parts of the findings which they believe to be pertinent "across contemporary Europe" (p. 186) - and I would argue, as a Canadian, these may certainly be extrapolated to much wider circles. In this vein, they point out that "The discursive constructs of national identities emphasise foremost national uniqueness and intra-national uniformity, and largely tend to ignore intra-national difference (the discourses of sameness). Above all, however, the greatest possible differences from other nations are frequently simultaneously constructed through discourses of difference, and especially difference from those foreign nations that seem to exhibit the most striking similarities" (p. 186). Intra-nationally, the less public discussions also served to emphasize the importance of language to group identity: "language was perceived as a crucial factor in differentiation (not being able to speak a language supposedly leads to alienation, fear and rejection), as was the foreigners' 'insistence on their traditions'. Integration, subordination and assimilation were demanded of foreigners living in Austria" (p. 192). Finally, they list "at least five different important macro-strategies which play a significant part in the discourse of national identity. These are: constructive strategies, strategies of relativisation or justification, strategies of perpetuation, strategies of transformation, and disparagement and/or destructive strategies" (pp. 199-200). It would be compelling to see whether these same strategies are as clearly employed in data taken from a different national group, especially those in which the linguistic borders are as fuzzy as those this text examines. 8. The 'Story' Continues: 1995-2008 This chapter serves to bring the data into the present, integrating new information from the recent populist political movement in Austria, where certain discourse strategies have been made more overt. For example, "the all-encompassing construct of the 'community of victims' is becoming increasingly institutionalised and established! 'perpetrators' are more frequently obfuscated, often by the use of passive constructions" (p. 207, italics replaced with single quotes). We see more clearly in this data that the discourse effect of confronting the National Socialism past is to create an equivalence of victimhood between, for example, concentration camp inmates and soldiers (p. 212). Externally, joining the EU a fait accompli, there were a few bumps on the road, such as the bilateral measures by the EU-14 in 2000 which were characterized as "sanctions" by the populist government, which then called for a "closing of ranks" around the "fatherland". The authors here argue that "calls for a 'national closing of ranks' are part of an authoritarian identity politics that imagines a homogeneous national community and aims at enforcing 'false consent' and political conformity, which inhibits the pluralist articulation of conflicts of interest and differences of opinion, which in turn are vital for a functioning democracy" (p. 231). An interesting feature of this trend is that the movement of populism from the opposition into the government means that the government no longer functions as a scapegoat, thus new "Feindbilder" ('bogeyman images') are necessary (p. 214). EVALUATION As I have already mentioned, many exceptional scholars have already praised this book, and rightly so. It is an excellent exploration of the means with which we construct identity through discourse, focusing in on the particular case study of Austria with outstanding attention to patterns in very detailed data. It is translated outstandingly by Angelika Hirsch, Richard Mitten and J.W. Unger, meaning that there is an effort to preserve those parts of the initial data which can inform our understanding of the linguistic issues while simultaneously maintaining thorough comprehensibility for non-German readers. There are two somewhat paradoxical criticisms I might level, as they are also the very strengths of the book. The first has to do with the aforementioned "hermeneutic-abductive approach" (p. 3), or "triangulation" (p. 9), which leave this study open to some of the standard criticisms of Critical Discourse Analysis, namely that it risks either stating the obvious, or is somehow merely replacing the ideology of the discourse with that of the critic (or that the results are somehow "subjective"). However, the breadth of material and the depth to which it is analyzed here counters the first issue, and perhaps the number of significant scholars involved in this project counters the second. The largest problem with this approach, then, is if it were to be replicated by those without adequate backgrounds to be able to employ probabilistic abduction, but such a criticism is shallow, as poor results would similarly speak for themselves as these significant ones do. The second criticism is equally contradictory: there are times in which the cultural specificity of the Austrian-centered data might be somewhat off-putting for those significantly outside of that particular context. However, this is also why this book is so authoritative, given that it is based firmly on this data, and so there is no reason, in this volume at least, to aim for something more "universal". Those seeking a fascinating discussion on more generalized notions of national identity and discourse can certainly confine themselves to the Introduction and Conclusion, although much will be lost by doing so. There are a few very minor errata, which I list simply to inform the next edition. Typos: "served" should read "severed" in Note 4, p. 47; "patters" should read "patterns" and "interests" should be singular on p. 231. There is also a stray apostrophe after "academics" on p. 62. There is also some minor repetition, which may or may not be deemed important: the Ethnic Group Act's bilingual sign measure (of 25 per cent of the population being required for bilingual signs in an area) on p. 58 has already been mentioned, as have Bruck and Stocker's "optimal group size" (p. 107) and Participant CF5's observation on being Austrian (p. 120). Finally, the introduction might be updated to acknowledge the additional chapter. Although it is discussed in the preface to the new edition, an explanation of how this new data fits in with the overall theory would be useful, as there are some significant findings vis-a-vis the populist movement that are quite significant in the overall construction of identity. These minor points aside, I would certainly recommend this book as an excellent study on nation and identity, and a fascinating read on Austrian culture as well. REFERENCES Anderson, Benedict (1983). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso. Cicourel, Aaron (1969). Method and Measurement in Sociology. New York: Free Press of Glencoe. Galasinska, Aleksandra (2010) Review: The Discursive Construction of National Identity. Applied Linguistics 31, 166-168. Wodak, Ruth (1996). Disorders of Discourse. New York: Longman. ABOUT THE REVIEWER Derek Irwin is a lecturer in English Studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus. His work focuses on language contact, especially that in early Canadian English and the use of English in the Chinese context. -- Derek Irwin LINGUIST list The revisions to the volume will be of value both to those who are familiar with the original work, and to those who encounter it for the first time. Changes in the European Union in the years since the initial volume was published mean that this second edition is very timely and topical. The authors are highly experienced, with extensive publishing records. The revised volume will be an important text for students taking postgraduate courses in Discourse Studies, Critical Discourse Analysis, and Nationalism Studies. The book will also be of considerable value to academics working in these and related fields. -- Adrian Blackledge, University of Birmingham Ruth Wodak is one of the most important critical discourse analysts and her work has contributed significantly to our understanding of contemporary political discourse. The Discursive Construction of National Identity constitutes both an important analysis of the ways that national identity is formed through discourse and also is a major exemplar of Wodak's work. Experts will welcome a new edition of such a well regarded book.' -- Professor Michael Billig, Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University There is a clear case for a second edition of this book because there have been significant developments in the last decade which the new edition will address. -- Norman Fairclough, Emeritus Professor, Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster I have cited this work and consider it to be a foundational work in critical discourse and sociohistorical analysis. The book's main contribution is in its ground-breaking, richly textured methodology which can be applied to the ever changing circumstances of Austria, Europe, and indeed the entire world. -- Thomas Ricento, Professor and Chair, English as an Additional Language, University of Calgary Without exaggeration, the re-edition of the book is crucial. As a founding editor of four international journals (such as Discourse & Society) and as thesis director, I often have to recommend students to read up on discourse and national identity, and there are virtually no books on the topic. This book has become the standard reference, and I was very glad it was translated into English. -- Teun A. van Dijk, Visiting Professor, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona Many exceptional scholars have already praised this book, and rightly so. It is an excellent exploration of the means with which we construct identity through discourse, focusing in on the particular case study of Austria with outstanding attention to patterns in very detailed data. It is translated outstandingly by Angelika Hirsch, Richard Mitten and J.W. Unger, meaning that there is an effort to preserve those parts of the initial data which can inform our understanding of the linguistic issues while simultaneously maintaining thorough comprehensibility for non-German readers... I would certainly recommend this book as an excellent study on nation and identity, and a fascinating read on Austrian culture as well. -- Derek Irwin LINGUIST list Announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/20/20-298.html AUTHORS: Ruth Wodak, Rudolf de Cillia, Martin Reisigl, and Karin Liebhart TITLE: The Discursive Construction of National Identity SUBTITLE: Second edition PUBLISHER: Edinburgh University Press YEAR: 2009 Derek Irwin, English Studies, University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus SUMMARY As a previous reviewer has pointed out (Galasinska 2010), reviewing this volume is a daunting task: it has been highly praised by very discerning critics, from its first German publication in 1998, through three other printings, until the arrival of this expanded volume. Although making a name as the harshest reviewer of this text is somewhat tempting, such would be a hard sell indeed: it is meticulous, accurate, and impressive in both its scope and depth. The general goal of the book is to explore how Austrians negotiate various forms of being Austrian in spoken texts, from the public speeches of political leaders, through group discussions, and into private interviews. There are thus a number of variables present, including the degree of dissemination of the various texts to a wider audience, the relative power of the speaker over the issues in question, and the level of formality in text production, to name a few. The analysis takes advantage of these different contexts of production to systematically explore the various content and strategies that different speakers use in different situations to create and negotiate ideas of national identity, and presents the findings in such a way as to suggest their applicability outside of the specific Austrian milieu. The text is "a considerably abbreviated version of the German edition" (p. 1), although the present edition does have an updated chapter in which the analysis is brought up to the year 2008. The main arc of the arguments is therefore made more convincing, as well as contemporaneous. The book comprises eight chapters, as well as two appendices which include listings of the publicly-available data. The chapters are as follows: 1. Introduction This short introduction serves to provide the theoretical orientation with which the authors explore the creation of national identity in Austrian discourse. However, the authors do point out that, following on Wodak (1996), "we do not limit ourselves to theory-building, but place great emphasis on the analysis of our empirical data" (p. 2). The analysis aims to "conceptualise and identify the various macrostrategies employed in the construction of national identities and to describe them using a hermeneutic-abductive approach" (p. 3) - in other words, the authors emphasize their ability to interpret what is significant in the data, assumedly because of prior familiarity with the discourse and culture. Two key theoretical underpinnings are the following of Benedict Anderson's (1983) notion of nations as "imagined communities," and the concept that national identities are "malleable, fragile and, frequently, ambivalent and diffuse" (p. 4). This text thus argues for a break from the traditional national constructs of the Staatsnation and Kulturnation (p. 6). 2. The Discursive Construction of National Identity This chapter deals with the two major issues in the title, namely those of "identity" and the means with which to analyse it in various types of discourse of nationhood. In broad strokes, it uses the Vienna School of Critical Discourse Analysis method of triangulation (as per Cicourel 1969), i.e. "discursive phenomena are approached from a variety of methodological and theoretical perspectives taken from various disciplines" (p. 9). While perhaps open to accusations of subjectivity, this approach allows the analyst to synthesize various forms of text through a range of disciplinary methodologies, yielding results which are contextually bound yet meaningful in other situations with similar variables of nationhood and identity construction. Such fluidity is also important in the approach because the notion of "identity" is itself fluid (p. 11), through various forms such as those of self, narrative, system-related, national, and, in fact, multiple. Out of these, perhaps the most pertinent to this study is that of the narrative identity, as that is the means through which the imagined national figure - the "homo nationalis" - is constructed, and there is a thorough discussion here of the various means with which the story of the nation is created. The discursive practices are similarly thoroughly laid out in this chapter, divided into the "contents" and "strategies" employed in various discourses. The means and forms through which these contents and strategies are employed are laid out in a series of tables (2.1-2.5, pp. 36-42), which provide a means of replicating this sort of study in other contexts. 3. On Austrian Identity: The Scholarly Literature This chapter provides the service of contextualization for readers not familiar with the Austrian context, giving an historical overview as well as a window into the practice of Austrian self-definition. It simultaneously recognizes the efforts to define the Austrian national identity, while at the same time showing some of the problems with this process given the fact that much of the identification is done against Germany while simultaneously being conducted in (Austrian) German. Further, there are a large number of Austrians who are not unilingual; "members of local, regional, ethnic and national minorities are subject to a far more complicated interplay of situation-specific, multiple identity constructions than are those who belong exclusively to a unilingual majority" thus resulting in multiple identities (p. 57). Even in those areas in which identity seems fairly well-established, there are problems. The first is historical, and has to do with Austria's complicated relationship with the National Socialists during the Second World War, both resisting and enabling the crimes of that state. The second is political, and has to do with the identification of Austria as a neutral state while simultaneously risking losing that important piece of self-identity with the joining of the EU. The ways that these problems are dealt with in the discourse are explored in further chapters. 4. The Public Arena: Commemorative Speeches and Addresses This chapter deals with the most public discourse, that of political leaders. The analysis here is largely concerned with the content of these texts, in which it is found that "they assigned praise or blame to certain moments of Austria's past or present" (p. 70) and that "the thematic texture centres almost exclusively on the narration of a common political past and on the discursive construction of a common political present and future" (p. 74). In building up the "imagined community" of Austria, these speakers first had to confront the past of National Socialism, which they generally did by creating an equivalence of victimhood: all Austrians suffered equally through that point in history. Moving to the present and future, the public speakers provided a kind of "locus amoenus": "a 'beautiful landscape' often mentioned in a more general sense to refer to the common national territory or serving to depict a rather abstract ideal political place where human beings live together happily, in affluence, in harmony and without conflicts" (p. 98). Of course, it was found that the more power the politicians had over the body politic, the more likely they were to employ this theme, thus justifying and hopefully perpetuating their roles in the state. 5. Semi-Public Discussion: The Focus Group Interviews This data was quite interesting, as the authors were able to use it "to follow closely patterns of recontextualisation and the transformation of elite concepts of national identity during group interactions" (p. 107). In fact, the group context was also significant as it led to the participants negotiating and co-constructing the underlying features of national identity, generally building consensus instead of asserting definitions - and thus some were able to question the statements of the public discourse, even to the point where a group dismissed a speech "as typical 'politicians' babble' because of its ambivalence and vagueness" (p. 132). These groups tended to stress the inclusion of all members, simultaneously expressing "explicit emphasis or presupposition of intra-national similarity and sameness as well as emphasis of national singularity and autonomy" (p. 141). They did this in discourse by such devices as metonymically employing "Austria" for the population, or using the somewhat vague "we" to sketch out in-groups. 6. Semi-Private Opinions: The Qualitative Interviews These twenty-four sessions were set up "to resemble informal open-ended, private conversations [thus] there was little observable pressure to articulate statements conforming to group opinions or politically correct statements" (p. 146). Because of the open-ended nature, there were also some topics brought in that the participants believed important to the notion of identity that were not mentioned in other forums. The "homo Austriacus" here did not have such a tight focus on nationality; "even where interviewees emphasised citizenship as a criterion for national membership and identity (which, by the way, did not occur very often), most of them pointed to linguistically, culturally and ethnically defined elements of Austrian self-perception at a later point in the interview" (pp. 150-51). Significantly, it appears that the identification here was less about finding a national character to agree upon the "Austrian-ness" of, but rather to see how notions of that character could be used to project elements of the self into. In dealing with the national past, most of the participants believed it necessary to confront it. "However, the interviewees scarcely ever indicated that they saw any connection to current and everyday racism and exclusionary practices. The topos of 'history teaching lessons', frequent in political speeches, seems to be of no relevance in the individual-private discourse of national identity" (p. 168). Also significant here was that as individuals, participants tended to be much more positive towards the EU, contradicting the general consensus of groups in the last chapter and, more overtly, the Austrian population in general (p. 172). 7. Conclusion: Imagined and Real Identities - the Multiple Faces of the "homo nationalis" The authors here present those parts of the findings which they believe to be pertinent "across contemporary Europe" (p. 186) - and I would argue, as a Canadian, these may certainly be extrapolated to much wider circles. In this vein, they point out that "The discursive constructs of national identities emphasise foremost national uniqueness and intra-national uniformity, and largely tend to ignore intra-national difference (the discourses of sameness). Above all, however, the greatest possible differences from other nations are frequently simultaneously constructed through discourses of difference, and especially difference from those foreign nations that seem to exhibit the most striking similarities" (p. 186). Intra-nationally, the less public discussions also served to emphasize the importance of language to group identity: "language was perceived as a crucial factor in differentiation (not being able to speak a language supposedly leads to alienation, fear and rejection), as was the foreigners' 'insistence on their traditions'. Integration, subordination and assimilation were demanded of foreigners living in Austria" (p. 192). Finally, they list "at least five different important macro-strategies which play a significant part in the discourse of national identity. These are: constructive strategies, strategies of relativisation or justification, strategies of perpetuation, strategies of transformation, and disparagement and/or destructive strategies" (pp. 199-200). It would be compelling to see whether these same strategies are as clearly employed in data taken from a different national group, especially those in which the linguistic borders are as fuzzy as those this text examines. 8. The 'Story' Continues: 1995-2008 This chapter serves to bring the data into the present, integrating new information from the recent populist political movement in Austria, where certain discourse strategies have been made more overt. For example, "the all-encompassing construct of the 'community of victims' is becoming increasingly institutionalised and established! 'perpetrators' are more frequently obfuscated, often by the use of passive constructions" (p. 207, italics replaced with single quotes). We see more clearly in this data that the discourse effect of confronting the National Socialism past is to create an equivalence of victimhood between, for example, concentration camp inmates and soldiers (p. 212). Externally, joining the EU a fait accompli, there were a few bumps on the road, such as the bilateral measures by the EU-14 in 2000 which were characterized as "sanctions" by the populist government, which then called for a "closing of ranks" around the "fatherland". The authors here argue that "calls for a 'national closing of ranks' are part of an authoritarian identity politics that imagines a homogeneous national community and aims at enforcing 'false consent' and political conformity, which inhibits the pluralist articulation of conflicts of interest and differences of opinion, which in turn are vital for a functioning democracy" (p. 231). An interesting feature of this trend is that the movement of populism from the opposition into the government means that the government no longer functions as a scapegoat, thus new "Feindbilder" ('bogeyman images') are necessary (p. 214). EVALUATION As I have already mentioned, many exceptional scholars have already praised this book, and rightly so. It is an excellent exploration of the means with which we construct identity through discourse, focusing in on the particular case study of Austria with outstanding attention to patterns in very detailed data. It is translated outstandingly by Angelika Hirsch, Richard Mitten and J.W. Unger, meaning that there is an effort to preserve those parts of the initial data which can inform our understanding of the linguistic issues while simultaneously maintaining thorough comprehensibility for non-German readers. There are two somewhat paradoxical criticisms I might level, as they are also the very strengths of the book. The first has to do with the aforementioned "hermeneutic-abductive approach" (p. 3), or "triangulation" (p. 9), which leave this study open to some of the standard criticisms of Critical Discourse Analysis, namely that it risks either stating the obvious, or is somehow merely replacing the ideology of the discourse with that of the critic (or that the results are somehow "subjective"). However, the breadth of material and the depth to which it is analyzed here counters the first issue, and perhaps the number of significant scholars involved in this project counters the second. The largest problem with this approach, then, is if it were to be replicated by those without adequate backgrounds to be able to employ probabilistic abduction, but such a criticism is shallow, as poor results would similarly speak for themselves as these significant ones do. The second criticism is equally contradictory: there are times in which the cultural specificity of the Austrian-centered data might be somewhat off-putting for those significantly outside of that particular context. However, this is also why this book is so authoritative, given that it is based firmly on this data, and so there is no reason, in this volume at least, to aim for something more "universal". Those seeking a fascinating discussion on more generalized notions of national identity and discourse can certainly confine themselves to the Introduction and Conclusion, although much will be lost by doing so. There are a few very minor errata, which I list simply to inform the next edition. Typos: "served" should read "severed" in Note 4, p. 47; "patters" should read "patterns" and "interests" should be singular on p. 231. There is also a stray apostrophe after "academics" on p. 62. There is also some minor repetition, which may or may not be deemed important: the Ethnic Group Act's bilingual sign measure (of 25 per cent of the population being required for bilingual signs in an area) on p. 58 has already been mentioned, as have Bruck and Stocker's "optimal group size" (p. 107) and Participant CF5's observation on being Austrian (p. 120). Finally, the introduction might be updated to acknowledge the additional chapter. Although it is discussed in the preface to the new edition, an explanation of how this new data fits in with the overall theory would be useful, as there are some significant findings vis-a-vis the populist movement that are quite significant in the overall construction of identity. These minor points aside, I would certainly recommend this book as an excellent study on nation and identity, and a fascinating read on Austrian culture as well. REFERENCES Anderson, Benedict (1983). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso. Cicourel, Aaron (1969). Method and Measurement in Sociology. New York: Free Press of Glencoe. Galasinska, Aleksandra (2010) Review: The Discursive Construction of National Identity. Applied Linguistics 31, 166-168. Wodak, Ruth (1996). Disorders of Discourse. New York: Longman. ABOUT THE REVIEWER Derek Irwin is a lecturer in English Studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus. His work focuses on language contact, especially that in early Canadian English and the use of English in the Chinese context. The revisions to the volume will be of value both to those who are familiar with the original work, and to those who encounter it for the first time. Changes in the European Union in the years since the initial volume was published mean that this second edition is very timely and topical. The authors are highly experienced, with extensive publishing records. The revised volume will be an important text for students taking postgraduate courses in Discourse Studies, Critical Discourse Analysis, and Nationalism Studies. The book will also be of considerable value to academics working in these and related fields. Ruth Wodak is one of the most important critical discourse analysts and her work has contributed significantly to our understanding of contemporary political discourse. The Discursive Construction of National Identity constitutes both an important analysis of the ways that national identity is formed through discourse and also is a major exemplar of Wodak's work. Experts will welcome a new edition of such a well regarded book.' There is a clear case for a second edition of this book because there have been significant developments in the last decade which the new edition will address. I have cited this work and consider it to be a foundational work in critical discourse and sociohistorical analysis. The book's main contribution is in its ground-breaking, richly textured methodology which can be applied to the ever changing circumstances of Austria, Europe, and indeed the entire world. Without exaggeration, the re-edition of the book is crucial. As a founding editor of four international journals (such as Discourse & Society) and as thesis director, I often have to recommend students to read up on discourse and national identity, and there are virtually no books on the topic. This book has become the standard reference, and I was very glad it was translated into English. Many exceptional scholars have already praised this book, and rightly so. It is an excellent exploration of the means with which we construct identity through discourse, focusing in on the particular case study of Austria with outstanding attention to patterns in very detailed data. It is translated outstandingly by Angelika Hirsch, Richard Mitten and J.W. Unger, meaning that there is an effort to preserve those parts of the initial data which can inform our understanding of the linguistic issues while simultaneously maintaining thorough comprehensibility for non-German readers... I would certainly recommend this book as an excellent study on nation and identity, and a fascinating read on Austrian culture as well.

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