Disinterring ideology from a corpus of obituaries: a critical post mortem

Stephen H. Moore*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    The Economist is an influential publication read by a worldwide elite audience of politically and economically powerful people and their supporters. This article explores how The Economist constructs and projects an ideology. It is hypothesized that even a peripheral feature of the journal, such as the regular obituary column, will still reveal a great deal about its ideology (i.e. its view/construction of reality). The investigation is undertaken using the paradigm of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). First, a corpus of 100 of The Economist's obituaries is examined to provide a sociological profile of the typical subject. Second, drawing from the both CDA and Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG), two of these obituaries, one closely matching the typical profile and one not, are subjected to a detailed analysis to compare and contrast them stylistically and to tease out the underlying ideology. Patterns in the choice of subject and pervasion of an ideology are clearly identified.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)495-536
    Number of pages42
    JournalDiscourse and Society
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2002


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