Forward with the people: A linguistic analysis of the imagined community in letters to the Daily Sunpurchase PDF
Authors: Jade Smith And Ralph Adendorff
affiliation,appraisal,bonding,Daily Sun,imagined community,tabloids
In an attempt to obtain linguistic evidence for the ‘imagined community’, this article investigates the bonds that are created in twenty letters to the editor of the Daily Sun, a popular South African tabloid. A concordancer is used to establish shared concerns across the corpus, following which an appraisal analysis of these letters shows how the imagined community attempts to align its audience around common evaluations of their experiences. These evaluations represent the bonds around which community identities are constructed and are evidence of the shared feelings that unite the communities of readership. The ways in which community members view their group cohesion are revealed by inferences drawn from the appraisal information. Main findings show that the Daily Sun community values a good education for the youth, and is dissatisfied with the government and political leaders. The choices made by the writers also expose the advisory nature of the tabloid’s community.