A Counter-Ideology: War as Violence

  • Annabelle Lukin
Part of the The M.A.K. Halliday Library Functional Linguistics Series book series (TMAKHLFLS)


The focus of this chapter is the analysis and interpretation of a news article which displays a contrasting orientation to the reporting of the invasion of Iraq presented in the previous chapter. In this news article, written by veteran foreign correspondent Robert Fisk , the invasion is characterised not as war but as violence. With the lexical item violence comes a very different clusters of semantic features. The actions of the belligerents are construed as highly destructive and unilateral. Official views are not only eschewed but critiqued. The text also makes very visible the humans who are the witnesses of the violence, and who will suffer its many consequences. The subjectivity of the author is not obscured. Instead, it provides a position from which the violence can be made rational only by reference to the powerful national interests it serves.


Orientation Contrast Metafunction Grammar Systems Iraqi Information Minister Process Clause 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bernstein B (1990) Social class and pedagogic practice. In: Class, codes and control: Volume IV: the structuring of pedagogic discourse. Routledge, London, pp 63–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cooke R (2008) Man of war. The Guardian, November 29thGoogle Scholar
  3. Echevarria AJ (2004) Toward an American way of war. Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College, CarlisleCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fisk R (2008) The age of the warrior. Harper Perennial, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. Fisk R (2010) Journalism and the words of power. Aljazeera, 23rd MayGoogle Scholar
  6. Halliday MAK, Matthiessen CMIM (2014) An introduction to functional grammar, 4th edn. Arnold, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hasan R (2009) Social factors in semantic variation. In: Webster JJ (ed) Semantic variation: meaning in society and sociolinguistics: Volume 2 in the collected works of Ruqaiya Hasan. Equinox, London, pp 380–402Google Scholar
  8. Ullman H, James W Jr (1996) Shock and awe: achieving rapid dominance. The National Defense University, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annabelle Lukin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations