Dr Jane Mulderrig

BA (York); MSc (Edinburgh); PhD (Lancaster)

Contact Dr J Mulderrig

Room 3.26, Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

Internal extension: 28497
Phone number: +44 (0)114-222-8497
Fax: +44 (0)114-222-8481

email: j.mulderrig@sheffield.ac.uk


I’m a lecturer in Applied Linguistics and Director of the MA in Applied Linguistics.

I joined the department in 2010 after holding postdoctoral positions at the Universities of Lancaster (ESRC postdoctoral fellowship) and Edinburgh.

My main research interest is in using critical discourse analysis to investigate questions of identity, power, and representation in public life. My doctoral research used this approach to investigate the historic neoliberalisation of UK education policy.


My doctoral research developed a method of combining (Faircloughian) critical discourse analysis with corpus linguistic tools in the analysis of education policy. I drew also on regulation school state theory in order to critically examine the evolving relationship between policy agendas and wider developments in the UK economy, politics and society. I am particularly interested in the way policy discourse is used to construct and legitimate neoliberal identities, roles and power relations between citizen and state. Key themes explored in my recent publications are the historic emergence of an ‘enabler’ model of governance and the use of ‘personalisation’ as a legitimation strategy in policy.

More generally I am interested in the strategic role of (national) policy discourse in recontextualising, disseminating and legitimating dominant political imaginaries in advanced liberal economies. My current research applies and elaborates this approach to critically explore the use of ‘nudge’ tactics in contemporary public policy, looking in particular at health policy and the ‘Change4Life’ campaign. Alongside this work I am also investigating the social construction of ageing in the UK. Focussing on policy and public discourse, this work aims to contribute a critical discourse perspective to academic debates on societal and political responses to population ageing. Most recently I have been looking at UK media representation of the refugee crisis.

I convene the Sheffield Critical Discourse Studies Research group bringing together scholars in CDA from across the region ('SCADS'). Details of our activities can be found here www.scads.group.shef.ac.uk


I teach the following:

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.


I currently supervise in the area of cultural gerontology and critical discourse analysis. My students include:

Nouf Alotaibi: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Saudi Women's Campaign against the Male-Guardianship System on Social Media

Emma LeVine: Corpus-based critical discourse analysis of the political texts of the UK Independence Party, 1993-2015.

Rosa Escanes Sierra: The discourse of the financial crisis: the cases of Spain and the UK, 2008-2011

Bridie Moore: The Performance of Age and Ageing in Contemporary British Theatre

I would be interested in supervising doctoral research in the area of (corpus-based) critical discourse analysis, especially in relation to politics, education or ageing.


Journal Articles:

  • (in press) ‘Reframing Obesity: a Critical Discourse Analysis of the UK’s first Social Marketing Campaign’, Critical Policy Studies
  • (2012) 'The Hegemony of Inclusion: a corpus-based critical discourse analysis of deixis in education policy', Discourse and Society 23 (6) 701-728
  • (2011) ‘The Grammar of Governance’, Critical Discourse Studies 8(1)45-68. Link to article
  • (2011) ‘Manufacturing Consent: a corpus-based critical discourse analysis of New Labour’s educational governance’, Journal of Educational Philosophy and Theory, 43 (6)
  • (2009) The Language of Education Policy: from Thatcher to Blair Saarbucken: VDM Dr Muller Verlag ISBN 3639184890
  • (2003) ‘Learning to Labour: the discursive construction of social actors in New Labour's education policy’, Merle Tönnies (ed.): Britain under Blair, special edition of Anglistik & Englischunterricht (65)123-145, Heidelberg: Winter Verlag
  • (2003) ‘Consuming Education: a critical discourse analysis of social actors in New Labour’s education policy’, Journal of Critical Education Policy Studies, Vol. 1 No. 1 [http://www.jceps.com/index.php?pageID=article&articleID=2]

Book Chapters

  • (2015) ‘‘Enabling’ participatory governance in education: a corpus-based critical policy analysis’, Smyers, P., Bridges, D., Burbules, N., Griffiths, M. (Eds) International Handbook of Interpretation in Educational Research, Springer pp 441-470
  • (2011) ‘Critical Discourse Analysis’, in Van Dijk, T (ed.) Discourse Studies: a multidisciplinary introduction, London: Sage. With N. Fairclough and R. Wodak More information
  • (2008) ‘Using Keywords Analysis in CDA: evolving discourses of the knowledge economy in education’, in Jessop, B., Fairclough, N., and Wodak, R. (eds.) Education and the Knowledge-Based Economy in Europe Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, pp 149-170
  • (2007) ‘Textual Strategies of Representation and Legitimation in New Labour Policy Discourse’, in A. Green, G. Rikowski, and H. Raduntz (eds.): Renewing Dialogues in Marxism and Education, Palgrave Macmillan pp 135-150

Commissioned Reports

  • (2007) Report of a Feasibility Study into setting up a Scottish Centre for Research on Equality and Human Rights, Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh [Final Report available at http://www.creid.ed.ac.uk/projects/feasibility/SFC_finalrep.pdf]
  • (2007) Equalities and Human Rights: key concepts and issues, Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh [http://www.creid.ed.ac.uk/projects]
  • (2007) Policy Review: equalities and human rights, Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh [http://www.creid.ed.ac.uk/projects]
  • (2007) Digest of Research on Equalities, Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh [http://www.creid.ed.ac.uk/projects]
  • (2007)Consultation to Support the University of Edinburgh’s Gender Equality Scheme Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh
  • (2007) Consultation to Inform the University of Edinburgh’s Disability Equality Scheme Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh
  • (2006) Educating Children from Armed Forces Families in Scottish Schools: the implications of interrupted learning for children, schools and communities Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh
  • (2006) Literature Review of Educational Provision for Pupils with Additional Support Needs: final report to the Scottish Executive Education Department, Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh

Articles available to download

You can also download most of my papers from here