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Sweet talking: Food, language, and democracy

  • Guy Cook (a1)

At a time of diminishing resources, the sum of apparently minor personal decisions about food can have immense impact. These individual choices are heavily influenced by language, as those with vested interests seek to persuade individuals to act in certain ways. This makes the language of food politics a fitting area for an expanding applied linguistics oriented towards real-world language-related problems of global and social importance. The paper draws upon five consecutive research projects to show how applied linguistics research may contribute to public policy and debate, and also how, by entering such new arenas, it can develop its own methods and understanding of contemporary language use.

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G. Cook (2003). Applied linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

G. Cook (2007c). ‘This we have done’: The different vagueness of poetry and PR. In J. Cutting (ed.), Vague language explored. London: Palgrave, 2140.

G. Cook , E. Pieri & P. T. Robbins (2004). ‘The scientists think and the public feels’: Expert perceptions of the discourse of GM food. Discourse and Society 15.4, 433449.

G. Cook , M. Reed & A. Twiner (2009). ‘But it's all true!’: Commercialism and commitment in the discourse of organic food promotion. Text and Talk 29.2, 151173.

G. Cook , P. T. Robbins & E. Pieri (2006). ‘Words of mass destruction’: British newspaper coverage of the GM food debate, and expert and non-expert reactions. Public Understanding of Science 15.1, 529.

V. Cook (2002). The functions of invented sentences: A reply to Guy Cook. Applied Linguistics 23.2, 263272.

S. Tormey (2007). Consumption, resistance and everyday life: Ruptures and continuities. Journal of Consumer Policy 30.3, 63280.

B. Wynne (2001). Creating public alienation: Expert cultures of risk and ethics on GMOs. Science as Culture 10.4, 445481.

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Language Teaching
  • ISSN: 0261-4448
  • EISSN: 1475-3049
  • URL: /core/journals/language-teaching
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