A Critical Discourse Analysis of Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen's Speech

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Lect. Marwah Firas Abdullah Al-Rawe, Asst. Prof. Shurooq Abboodi Ali


This paper examines selected aggressive and offensive speech by the American ex-data managerFrances Haugen at her speech on the impact of the Instagram app on teenagers' mental health. It fills a gap in critical discourse analysis (CDA) literature because it mainly aims to demonstrate the extent to which social power, abuse, and other unpleasant expressions are used in Haugen’s speech on Instagram. The data is coded based on Van Dijk’s (2006) model of socio cognitive approach (SCA). The research has adopted ten ideological categories to reveal the extent of power, racism and racial discrimination. The current study has mainly investigated how language is structured to show various meanings that indicate the relation of power used in social contexts. The study also tries to show the role of CDA in analyzing elements of power and hegemony and how language users operate them to achieve the goal of successful communication among participants. The abuse is resulted from the use of power as exercised by language users. The way language is perceived and manipulated can identify ideologies imposed by speakers, resulting in controlling addressees through power dominance.  Overall, the research indicates that the majority of Haugen’s speech implies aspects of language that violate social norms and convey a sense of authority and superiority over other addressees.

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