Genre as Ideological Mediation

Whose Topics? Whose Face Systems? Whose Socialisation Strategies?


  • Tom Bartlett University of Northern Virginia and Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University



Linguistics, Article


This paper draws on data from intercultural development discourse, ESL teaching and hate media in pre-genocide Rwanda to characterise genres as mediators of ideology, instantiating and interweaving culturally significant representations, authority systems and textual traditions through dispersed patterns of discourse as much as structural regularity. Applications of the approach for development and educational discourse are discussed in terms of the generic potential of discourse contexts and the registerial competence of participants, and the potential of the approach for propagating counter-discourses to hate media is considered in light of the data from Rwanda.

Author Biography

Tom Bartlett, University of Northern Virginia and Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University

Tom Bartlett's research focuses on broadening conceptions of language and power to cover everyday and polemic discourse within diverse cultural settings. Recent publications include The Communities Strike Back: Genres of the Third Space (Journal of Language and Intercultural Development 5:1); Rwandan Hate Media and Hutu/Tutsi Positioning (with Daniel Rothbar, forthcoming) and Making English Their Own: The Use of ELF among Students of English at the Freie Universitat Berlin (with Elizabeth Erling, forthcoming).


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How to Cite

Bartlett, T. (2008). Genre as Ideological Mediation: Whose Topics? Whose Face Systems? Whose Socialisation Strategies?. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 2(2), 257–274.