Dr Jane Mulderrig

School of English

Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics, Director of International Affairs

English Jane Mulderrig
j.mulderrig@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 8497

Full contact details

Dr Jane Mulderrig
School of English
Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
Sheffield
S3 7RA
Profile

I’m a senior lecturer in Applied Linguistics and Director of International Affairs for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

I joined the department in 2010 after holding postdoctoral positions at the Universities of Lancaster (ESRC postdoctoral fellowship) and Edinburgh, following a PhD at Lancaster University (ESRC doctoral studentship) under the supervision of Profs Norman Fairclough and Ruth Wodak.

Research interests

My main research interest is in using critical discourse analysis in combination with political theory to investigate questions of identity, power, and representation in public life. In particular, I am interested in the strategic role of (national) policy discourse in recontextualising, disseminating and legitimating dominant political ideologies in advanced liberal economies. I have used my interdisciplinary approach to investigate the historic neoliberalisation of UK education policy; governments’ increasing use of ‘nudge’ tactics to steer citizens towards self-reliance; and discourses which construct a ‘social burden’ view of ageing.

Research project 1 (2001-) Language and ideology in education policy

My doctoral research developed a method of combining critical discourse analysis with corpus linguistic tools to analyse a 35-year corpus of education policy documents. Language patterns were critically interpreted in relation to the emergence of neoliberalism, using cultural political economy (Jessop). I investigated how policy discourse is used to construct and legitimate neoliberal identities, roles and power relations between citizen and state. My publications posit the role of nested grammatical structures in construing a ‘networked’ or ‘enabling’ model of governance and the role of personal pronouns as a hegemonic strategy in policy. I continue to draw on this method, for example to investigate the increasing use of metrics to evaluate quality in higher education. External funding: ESRC PhD scholarship (£34,000 + fees); ESRC postdoctoral fellowship (£58,000)

Research project 2 (2010-) What is old? Language, society, and ageing

This project examines the linguistic processes whereby population ageing is problematized in public life and their influence on how individuals construct their own ageing identities. A corpus analysis found that the concept of ‘ageing’ is represented as a phenomenon which is to be feared, a burden on society, and an economic challenge for nation states. These ideas were then explored in an intergenerational project ‘What is Old?’ with school pupils and residents of sheltered housing schemes in Sheffield. Arts and crafts were used as a medium through which to challenge ‘official’ constructions of old age. Funding: Arts Enterprise grant (£3000).

Research project 3 (2014-) ‘Nudge’ and the language of soft power

Neoliberal governments are making increasing use of ‘nudge’ tactics in public life, designed to subtly steer citizens towards taking greater responsibility for their own wellbeing. This project is the first investigation of how this governance tactic is realised in language. My publications explore its realisation in health policy and bring multimodal critical discourse analysis into dialogue with Foucauldian theories of governmentality.

Research project 4 (2018-) Defining Freedom of the Press

In the wake of recent scandals concerning the conduct of the UK press, this project investigates the tensions between freedom of the press and press ethics. It brings together an interdisciplinary team from journalism (Dr John Steel, Prof Martin Conboy, Sheffield; Dr Julie Firmstone, Leeds), law (Dr Paul Wragg, Leeds), philosophy (Dr Carl Fox, Leeds; Dr Joe Saunders, Durham) and linguistics (Dr Jane Mulderrig) in order to investigate how the press, its public roles and responsibilities are defined in 13 European countries. The project combines documentary analysis, interviews, focus groups and stakeholder workshops, and seeks to develop a set of recommendations and benchmarks for freedom of the press which are fit for the modern news environment. External funding: AHRC (£500,000). Defining Freedom of the Press project website

I convene the Sheffield Critical Discourse Studies Research group bringing together scholars in CDA from across the region ('SCADS'). 

Publications

Books

  • Mulderrig J (2009) The Language of Education Policy: from Thatcher to Blair. VDM Publishing. RIS download Bibtex download

Edited books

Journal articles

Chapters

  • Mulderrig J (2020) Health inequality and the representation of ‘risky’ working class identities in obesity policy In Gomez-Jimenez EM & Toolan M (Ed.), The Discursive Construction of Economic Inequality: CADS approaches to the British Media London: Bloomsbury Publishing. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mulderrig J, Montessori NM & Farrelly M (2019) Introducing critical policy discourse analysis, Critical Policy Discourse Analysis (pp. 1-22). View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mulderrig J (2019) Analysing orders of discourse of neoliberal rule: Health 'nudges' and the rise of psychological governance, Critical Policy Discourse Analysis (pp. 48-72). View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Farrelly M, Montessori NM & Mulderrig J (2019) Concluding remarks on critical policy discourse analysis, Critical Policy Discourse Analysis (pp. 264-270). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mulderrig J (2015) 2.7 “Enabling” Participatory Governance in Education: A Corpus-Based Critical Analysis of Policy in the United Kingdom, International Handbook of Interpretation in Educational Research (pp. 441-470). Springer Netherlands RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mulderrig J & Lytra V (2015) Introduction, International Handbook of Interpretation in Educational Research (pp. 283-284). Springer Netherlands RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mulderrig JM (2015) “Enabling” Participatory Governance in Education: A Corpus-Based Critical Analysis of Policy in the United Kingdom In Smeyers P, Bridges D, Burbules N & Griffiths M (Ed.), International Handbook of Interpretation in Educational Research (pp. 441-470). London: Springer. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mulderrig J (2012) Manufacturing Consent: A Corpus-Based Critical Discourse Analysis of New Labour's Educational Governance In Cole D & Graham L (Ed.), The Power In/Of Language (pp. 13-28). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mulderrig JM, Fairclough N & Wodak R (2011) Critical Discourse Analysis In Dijk TAV (Ed.), Discourse Studies: a multidisciplinary introduction (pp. 357-378). London: SAGE Publications Limited. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mulderrig JM (2008) Using Keywords Analysis in CDA: evolving discourses of the knowledge economy in education In Jessop B, Fairclough N & Wodak R (Ed.), Education and the Knowledge-Based Economy in Europe (pp. 149-170). Sense Publishers RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mulderrig JM (2007) Textual Strategies of Representation and Legitimation in New Labour Policy Discourse In Green A, Rikowski G & Raduntz H (Ed.), Renewing Dialogues in Marxism and Education (pp. 135-150). Palgrave MacMillan RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mulderrig JM (2003) Learning to Labour: the discursive construction of social actors in New Labour's education policy In Tönnies M (Ed.), Britain under Blair (pp. 123-145). Heidelberg: Winter Verlag. RIS download Bibtex download

Conference proceedings papers

  • Steel J, Conboy M, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J, Wragg P & Elliott-Harvey C (2018) Defining freedom of the press: A cross national examination of press ethics and regulation. Defining freedom of the press: A cross national examination of press ethics and regulation. University of Nottingham, 8 November 2018 - 9 November 2018. RIS download Bibtex download

Working papers

  • Steel J, Conboy M, Elliott-Harvey C, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J & Wragg P (2018) DFoP: Scope and parameters of the project. Defining freedom of the press: A cross national examination of press ethics and regulation. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Presentations

  • Steel J, Conboy M, Elliott-Harvey C, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J & Wragg P Defining freedom of the press in the 21st century: Interdisciplinary approaches and comparative perspectives. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Steel J, Conboy M, Elliott-Harvey C, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J & Wragg P Stakeholder workshops as a method for developing a grounded media ethics. University of Brighton. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Steel J, Conboy M, Elliott-Harvey C, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J & Wragg P Defining freedom of the press: A cross national examination of press ethics and regulation. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Steel J, Conboy M, Elliott-Harvey C, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J & Wragg P Human dignity beyond boundaries: Revisiting global journalism ethics. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Steel J, Conboy M, Elliott-Harvey C, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J & Wragg P Journalists' perceptions of press freedom in practice: Perspectives from the front-line. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Steel J, Conboy M, Elliott-Harvey C, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J & Wragg P Journalism and codes of ethics. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Steel J, Conboy M, Elliott-Harvey C, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J & Wragg P Defining 'freedom of the press': A cross-national analysis of press council codes of ethics. RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

I currently supervise in the area of critical discourse analysis applied to the investigation of political campaigns, public policy, and politics. I welcome PhD applicants who wish to undertake critical, interdisciplinary research on questions of language, ideology and identity in public life.

My students  (past and current):

  • Lucie Rees (WRoCAH scholarship): Critical discourse analysis of anti-stigma campaigns in UK mental health policy
  • Nouf Alotaibi: A Critical discourse analysis of the Saudi women's campaign against the male-guardianship system on social media
  • Rosa Escanes-Sierra (ESRC scholarship): Discourses of morality in UK parliamentary discourses of the economic crisis: a corpus-aided critical discourse analysis
  • Dr Bridie Moore (now lecturer at Huddersfield University): The performance of age and ageing in contemporary British theatre (second supervisor)
Teaching activities

At undergraduate level, I teach 'Discourse Analysis' and 'Corpus Linguistics'. On the MA in Applied Linguistics, I teach 'English Grammar and Discourse', 'Discourse and Genre Analysis', 'Corpus Linguistics', 'Intercultural Communication', and 'Research Methods'.