Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-0044)


Topics within Academic Studies in Discourse on Human Rights: Is there Focus on Language Use?

Author(s): Natalia Belenkova, Tatyana Shoustikova, Nebojsa Radic

The article focuses on key topics and concepts within the academic discussion on human rights and strives to map their verbal representation tools. The paper aims to get preliminary information if the academic research on human rights discourse includes the investigation of language use within the mentioned domain. The study required the formation of the research theoretical background that rested on critical discourse studies, and the development of research methodology that integrated quantitative and qualitative approaches, used computational tools for text content analysis for further considerations of the data obtained. The research material covered academic papers on discourse on human rights that passed through a series of selection procedures and finally amounted to 4,765 items. The findings revealed 13 major thematic codes within the Academia’s discussion on human rights during 2000-2010, 6 additional codes that got their visibility during 2011-2019, and also identified language units that verbalized the above codes. The paper suggests the above thematic codes could be associated with those microstructures that form the macrostructure of human rights phenomenon both within cognitive semantics and social construct of human existence reality. The findings led to the conclusion that currently there is no systemic focus on language patterns within discourse on human rights and provided arguments for the respective research prospects.

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