Keywords in the press: A critical corpus-assisted analysis of ideology in the Blair years (1998é2007)

Lesley Jeffries, Brian Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


This article describes a corpus-assisted study of some socio-political keywords (in a similar sense to Raymond Williamsé écultural keywordsé 1983 [1976]), of newspaper reporting between 1998 and 2007, when Tony Blairés New Labour government was in power. We approach the discovery of socio-political keywords via the analysis of statistical keywords. Reducing a long list of statistical keywords to a shortlist of socio-politically significant keywords is inevitably complex, and the article explains the process used here. We demonstrate that certain lexemes gain currency in relatively short historical periods and take on political importance in addition to their everyday meaning. Combining corpus linguistics with critical stylistic analysis, we explore the usage of five important socio-political keywords of the New Labour period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-229
Number of pages22
JournalEnglish Text Construction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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