The language of criminality: introducing multimodality in linguistic research

24/10/18, 10.30-13.30
This seminar tackles the representation of the so-called ‘organised crime syndicate’ in various Irish media outlets…

Mikaela Cordisco
Prof. Giuseppe Balirano

This seminar tackles the representation of the so-called ‘organised crime syndicate’ in various Irish media outlets, the subject of intense debate among numerous scholars with an interest in media, crime and cultural studies. The perceived danger of this form of criminality has prompted significant policy and legislative action, and consequently, social change resulting in the creation of new agencies and processes. In particular, in the Republic of Ireland where people do not normally have any direct knowledge of globalised crime syndicates, media representations of crime may have important implications for the public perception of both the ‘offenders’ and the ‘victims’ as the ‘active’ and ‘passive’ social actors involved in criminal deeds.
This seminar aims to present linguistic and semiotic instantiations of both fictitious and actual constructions of the so-called ‘Irish organised crime syndicate’, as portrayed in the discursive representation of the most important Irish quality papers such as the Irish Independent and The Irish Times, and reinforced by other media outlets, such as TV and cinema productions.
The objective of this seminar is to identify the discursive strategies adopted by the Irish press to represent criminal actors. In order to do so, contrary to merely focusing on discourse surrounding criminal subcultures, the focus here is rather on the mediatised public opinion concerning the real existence of an Irish organised crime syndicate. By considering language as an empirical tool, in other words as something we believe to be an essential pointer for the interpretation and the construction of our everyday lives, in this talk I will implement the employment of a hybrid linguistic methodology for thereby describing the several discourses about Irish organised crime as crafted in the media.

Il seminario è destinato anche agli studenti del corso di laurea magistrale in Lingue e letterature moderne.