chapter  16
12 Pages

Predication, presupposition and subject- positioning


This chapter demonstrates how the analytical concepts of predication, presupposition and subject-positioning may be employed to analyse visual and textual representations; that is, to conduct discourse analysis in practice. As shown by Doty (1993), predication, presupposition and subject-positioning are heuristically useful categories for understanding how subjects, objects and modes of conduct are discursively constituted. In this sense, the concepts are textual mechanisms by which certain subjects are ascribed or denied agency and, thereby, enable or disable certain practices. In order to illustrate how the methodological concepts may be put to use, we analyse the discourse on ‘security versus legality’ during the ‘war on terror’ and we use the television series 24 as a set of representations of such a discourse.