Discuss About The International Encyclopedia Of Language And Social Interaction.
Urvashi Vaid’s “Speech At The March On Washington”
Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is the kind of analysis which aims to analyze a particular speech or a piece of literary work from different perspectives and at the same time the construct of language is viewed as a kind of social practice (Jaworski and Coupland 2014). Furthermore, at the same time it can be said that the major focus of this particular analysis is find out the way in which the concepts of power and language are being used in the contemporary speeches and pieces of literary works and at the same time the manner in which they are being used to affect the behavior of the individuals (Wodak and Meyer 2015). Moreover, a close analysis of the relationship between language and power becomes important since it provides an overview of the manner in which these two concepts can be used in the most effective manner so that the construct of discourse can be used in an effective manner (Knain 2015).
There are various benefits which a critical discourse analysis provides firstly, it helps in a better understanding of the manner in which the constructs of language and power are can be used so that they yield better results (Van Dijk 2015). Furthermore, at the same time they also help to show the relationship between the purpose and the context of the discourse and the manner in which the precepts of power and language can be used to highlight the same (Carbado 2017). It is in view of the numerous benefits that they yield that this particular form of analysis has become one of the most widely used ones of the present times (Fejes 2016). This paper will undertake an analysis of the speech of Urvashi Vaid and the Annual Report of Apple and will at the same compare and contrast them.
This particular speech of Vaid is mainly directed at the gay and the lesbian people of the nation of the United States of America and intends to fight against the discrimination as well as stigmatization which are being meted out to them (Gos.sbc.edu 2018). She is of the viewpoint that from the humanistic perspective the gay and the lesbian people have the same kind of rights as the other straight people and thus the discriminations which are being meted out to them is not unjustified (Gos.sbc.edu 2018). Furthermore, at the same time she is also of the opinion that the American nation by hiding under the cloak of theocracy and religion are trying to repudiate not only the lifestyle followed by these individuals but also the very ideas as well as the ideologies which have shaped their lives since the traditional times (Gos.sbc.edu 2018). It is with this particular objective that she urges not only all the gay and the lesbian people of the nation but also the other straight people of the nation as well in her fight against this social evil that has been perpetuated against them since the traditional times. Furthermore, at the same time she urges the people of the nation to not only support the cause of the movement which she is fighting for by just buying T-shirts or donating money for the movement rather she wants them to come out in large numbers and show the authorities that the people should be given the right to lead as per their own wishes (Gos.sbc.edu 2018).
Annual Report of Apple
Vaid appeals to the logos of the people to whom she is delivering the speech in the very early section of the speech with the words that “America, this day marks the end from exile of the gay and lesbian people. We are banished no more. We wander the wilderness of despair no more. We are afraid no more.………their race, their gender, their religion, or their human difference” (Gos.sbc.edu 2018). Furthermore, during the entire course of the speech it is seen that she has adopted a persuasive style of approach and her primary motive behind this is to persuade as well as move the people to do the thing which is right and thereby fight for the cause for the gay and the lesbian people. In addition to this, she is at the same time trying to fight against the stringent hold which Christianity has over the state of America. It is a reflection of this particular that she fights against the dictum of Christianity that these people are untouchables with the words that “They are wrong spiritually, because, if we are the untouchables of America -- if we are the untouchables -- then we are, as Mahatma Gandhi said, children of God. And as God's children we know that the gods of our understanding, the gods of goodness and love and righteousness, march right here with us today” (Gos.sbc.edu 2018). In addition to these, she states that “Traditional American values of democracy and pluralism” however at the same time it is seen that the nation by depriving the rights of the gay and the lesbian people are diverging from the basic precepts of very precept of democracy which is built on the concept of “liberty, equality and fraternity” (Gos.sbc.edu 2018). Thus, not only to maintain the integrity of the nation but at the same time to safeguard the rights of the gays and lesbians and provide them with the opportunities that are on par with the ones provided to the other citizens of the nation.
The annual report of Apple stresses on the need of the organizations to diversify and take the help of these diverse workforce groups that they have at their disposal to achieve the process of overall organizational growth (Apple 2018). As a matter of fact that official website of the company itself states that “Humanity is plural, not singular. The best way the world works is everybody in. Nobody out” (Apple 2018). Furthermore, at the same time the report states that there is a need for not only diversity in the present day workforces in terms of the different cultural as well as ethnic groups but at the same time in terms of the men and the women force as well. Thus, the primary motive of the company in the present times is to create the kind of workplace within their organization wherein the men and the women would have equal representation. It is a reflection of this particular that “39 percent of the leaders under 30 are women” of the company and in addition to this it is seen there has been an increase of almost 1% in the number of female employees in the time frame of “July 2016 to July 2017” (Apple 2018). One of the most interesting points that the annual report of the company mentions is the fact that diverse teams are more suited to innovative ideas and also the implementation. In this particular context it is significant to note that the company Apple since the year of its foundation has gained the success that it has achieved on the basis of the innovative ideas as well as strategies which has been used by it. The use of diversity more specifically in terms of the male and the female members renders dual functions for the company, firstly they not only make the implementation of the innovative ideas and the strategies which has helped the organization in a significant manner to gain success over the years much easier but at the same time this particular aspect is being used by the company as a CSR activity as well to enhance the brand image of the company.
The entire report of the company is designed to appeal to the logos of the readers and the stakeholders of the company. It is a reflection of this particular fact that the company not only takes the help of various kinds of statistics to depict the percentage of women they have working for them and at the same time the report also tries to show the benefits of the practice of such a policy. The opinion of Grace, a software engineer of the company is important to note in this context when she says that “If we want a product to appeal to and work for a big group of people, it needs to be built by a diverse group of people” (Apple 2018). This particular statement of the software engineering while appealing to the logos of the readers highlights the need of diversity in the context of the present day world. In addition to this, the company is also trying to recruit people from diverse groups so as to enhance the diversity of the workplace and it is a reflection of this particular fact that “50% of new hires are from historically underrepresented groups in tech” (Apple 2018). Thus, it can be said that the use of diversity within the workplace renders various kinds of benefits to the company in addition to contributing in a significant manner towards the brand image of the organization.
A close analysis of the speech of Vaid and the annual report of Apple reveals the fact that both of them are intended to appeal to the logos of the audience or the readers of these pieces. However, at the same time it needs to be noted that the speech of Vaid at the same is directed at the pathos of the audience whereas the annual report of Apple tries to appeal to the ethos of the audience as well. Furthermore, at the same time it is seen that there is a reiteration or repetition of the same ideas or concepts in both the pieces. For example, it is seen that although Vaid mentions at the very beginning of the speech the fact that the discrimination which the gay and lesbian people is against the precepts of democracy yet towards the end of the speech she again makes the same point in the words that “The gay rights movement is an integral part of the American promise of freedom” (Gos.sbc.edu 2018). Likewise, in the annual report of Apple it is seen that although the report clearly outlines the importance of the use of the concept of diversity yet towards the end of the report it is seen that Sprite, a software engineer of the company says that “We’re not afraid to adapt and change to become more welcoming. I think we walk the talk here. We don’t just say we embrace diversity and inclusion. We do it” (Apple 2018). Thus, it can be said that there are structural similarities between the speech and the annual report.
In addition to the structural similarity there is a thematic similarity as well since it is seen that both the pieces state the importance of the integration of the gay and lesbian people into the framework of the mainland society. For example, on the one hand, it is seen that there is Vaid who is talking about the rights of the gay and the lesbian people and that they should be given equal status in the society whereas on the other hand the annual report of Apple says the benefits that the integration of these people are likely to render to the company. Furthermore, the literary device of persuasion is another one which is being used by the both the pieces under discussion here. For example, on the one hand, Vaid uses this particular device to persuade the people to join the fight that she is fighting for the cause of the gay and the lesbian people (Gos.sbc.edu 2018). On the other hand, there is the annual report of Apple which by showing the benefits of the use of the concept of diversity is urging other companies to follow the same method and at the same time make use of the benefits offered by them (Apple 2018). However, the fact which distinguishes the speech and the annual report is the fact that the extensive use of statistics and other kinds of relevant evidences renders credibility to the report whereas the speech of Vaid lacks the use of such statistics and evidences and thus appeals only to the logos and the pathos of the audience and not to the ethos of the intended audience. Therefore, it can be said that there is not only a structural similarity between the speech and the annual report but at the same time thematic similarities as well.
To conclude, the concept of critical discourse analysis has emerged as one of the major ones in the recent times and is being widely used to understand the role of power and language. Furthermore, it is also seen that the effective use of these concepts not only helps to make the discourse much more effective but at the same helps the concerned speech or report much more effective. It is a reflection of this particular fact that the use of this method has gained prominence.
Apple. 2018. Inclusion & Diversity. [online] Available at: https://www.apple.com/diversity/ [Accessed 17 Aug. 2018].
Carbado, D.W., 2017. Black rights, gay rights, civil rights. In Sexuality and Equality Law (pp. 305-328). Routledge.
Fejes, F., 2016. Gay rights and moral panic: The origins of America's debate on homosexuality. Springer.
Gos.sbc.edu. 2018. Gifts of Speech - Urvashi Vaid. [online] Available at: https://gos.sbc.edu/w/vaid.html [Accessed 17 Aug. 2018].
Jaworski, A. and Coupland, N., 2014. The discourse reader. Routledge.
Knain, E., 2015. Critical Discourse Analysis. In Scientific Literacy for Participation (pp. 129-148). SensePublishers, Rotterdam.
Van Dijk, T.A., 2015. Critical discourse studies: A sociocognitive approach. Methods of critical discourse studies, pp.63-74.
Van Leeuwen, T., 2015. Critical discourse analysis. The International Encyclopedia of Language and Social Interaction, pp.1-7.
Wodak, R. and Meyer, M. eds., 2015. Methods of critical discourse studies. Sage.
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