Jeffries, Lesley and Walker, Brian (2012) Key words in the press: A critical corpus-driven analysis of ideology in the Blair years (1998- 2007). English Text Construction, 5 (2). pp. 208-229. ISSN 1874-8767

This article describes a corpus-assisted study of some socio-political keywords (in a similar sense to Raymond Williams’ ‘cultural keywords’ 1983 [1976]), of newspaper reporting between 1998 and 2007, when Tony Blair’s New Labour government was in power. We approach the discovery of socio-political keywords via the analysis of statistical keywords. Reducing a long list of statistical keywords to a shortlist of socio-politically significant keywords is inevitably complex, and the article explains the process used here. We demonstrate that certain lexemes gain currency in relatively short historical periods and take on political importance in addition to their everyday meaning. Combining corpus linguistics with critical stylistic analysis, we explore the usage of five important socio-political keywords of the New Labour period.

Keywords in the press: A corpus-assisted critical stylistic analysis of ideology in the Blair years (1998- 2007)

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