Single Determination And Overdetermination English Language Essay

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The chapter presents several topics which are theoretical frameworks used in the present study. These are the concept of Critical Discourse Analysis, Van Leeuwen's framework-the representing social action and the social action network. It is, then, followed by the concept of masculinity.

Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is a type of discourse analytical research that primarily studies "the way social power abuse, dominance, and inequality are enacted, reproduced, and resisted by text and talk in the social and political context" (Van Dijk, 1993). Discourse itself shows different various definitions, as seen in the table (Mills, 2001) below.

Discourse: 1. verbal communication; talk; conversation; 2. a formal treatment of a subject in speech or writing, such as a sermon or dissertation; 3. a unit of text used by linguists for the analysis of linguistic phenomena that range over more than one sentence.

(Collins Concise Dictionary, 1988)

Discourse: 1. a serious speech or piece of writing on a particular subject; 2. serious conversation or discussion between people; 3. the language used in particular types of speech or writing.

(Longman Dictionary of the English Language, 1984)

Analysis of discourse focuses on a structure that naturally found in language spoken, as much found in written discourse. (Crystal, 1987)

A discourse is communication that is seen as an exchange between the speaker and the listener which its shape determined by its social purposes. (Hawthorn, 1992)

Discourse is spoken or writing communication that is seen from the point of view of beliefs and values of the world that contained therein. (Roger Fowler, 1977)

Discourse could be as fields of all statements and also be the practice of regulative that is seen from a number of statements. (Foucault, 1972)

The present study, however, is referred to a discourse that represents possible worlds which are different from the actual world to change the world in particular directions (Fairclough, 2003) and also expresses oneself by using words. Critical discourse analysis, more specifically, focuses on the ways discourse structures in uncovering power, domination and inequality which are practiced, reproduced or countered by the written text as well as discussions in the context of social and political.

CDA aims to improve good understanding of how language functions that are able to transfer the knowledge in conducting power (Wodak & Meyer, 2009), based on eight main principles of CDA (Fairclough and Wodak, 1997, cited in Van Dijk, 2008:86). First, CDA discusses social issues through linguistics forms. The second principle is that power relation is presented by the discourse. The third one is that discourse forms culture and society. The fourth one is that ideologies are produced in the use of discourse. The next one is mutual discourse of dealing with that of the preceding discourse. The sixth principle is that CDA mediates text and society. Next, CDA is explanatory. And the last, discourse is a form of social action.

One of notable scholars in the field of CDA is Theo Van Leeuwen. He has developed an analysis framework regarding discourse as the recontextualization of social practice. As explained before in the previous chapter, social practice captured in reality might be recontextualized in a certain discourse in order to represent what its author thinks or goes through.

According to Bernstein (1996, cited in Singh, 2002), recontextualization is one of the fields of pedagogic devices being positioned between the field of knowledge production and reproduction. Recontextualization of knowledge cannot occur without the original production of knowledge, and reproduction cannot occur without recontextualization. Thus, these fields are related. Using recontextualization, a discourse changes its position of production to another one where it is related to other discourses. In doing so, Van Leeuwen uses Bernstein's concept of recontextualization in all text while it contains series of represented activities.

In line with that, Bernstein's concept connects to the term of discourse by Foucault. Discourse is "a socially constructed knowledge of some practices" (Foucault, 1977, cited in Van Leeuwen, 2008:6). It is possible used as resource for representing social practices in text (Van Leeuwen, 2008). Even though text comprises a wide range of types, it would still represent the same social practice.

To prove that representation of the same social practice, Van Leeuwen, then, creates the social action network using the theory of transitivity by Halliday (1985). It portrays a sociological "grammar" (Van Leeuwen, 2008: 56) of the representation of action and reaction in the discourse.

Representing Social Action

As mentioned in the previous chapter that the major problem in representation is how reality or the object is displayed (Eriyanto, 2001), Van Leeuwen, then, devises a framework for describing the representation of social action in discourse. The question of the ways in which social action can be represented in discourse is important because it may be capable of expressing a different attitude to the social action being represented (Van Leeuwen, 1995, cited in Levorato, 2003:46) therefore, it could help to comprehend the discourse itself.

The framework revolves around a series of sociosemantic categories which go beyond Halliday's theory. According to Halliday's theory (1994), actions are grammatically distinguished from reactions: the former are realized through material and behavioural processes, the latter through mental processes. The main ways of the representation of social action, then, would be further presented in the next section.

Social Action NetworkSocial






















Single Determination


Form specification

Topic specification












Table 1. Social Action Network (Van Leeuwen, 2008:73)

Table 1 summarizes the question of the ways in which actions and reactions can be represented in English discourse. Social practices in the discourse are represented not only in actions, but also in reactions following them. They are usually represented in visible actions, but Berger (1966, cited in Van Leeuwen, 2008) argues that the emotions and attitudes also belong to these actions. As explained before, through four Halliday's transitivity conditions of mental processes (cited in Van Leeuwen, 2008), actions are grammatically distinct from reactions. First, the mental processes cannot be followed by a "do" question. Second, mental processes use the simple present form while material, behavioral, and verbal processes use the progressive present form. Thus, "I am thinking" will be considered as action, and "I think of you" will be a reaction. Third, the participant of a mental process, the "senser", must be a human or is treated as human. For example, pets can be represented as "sensers". At last, the object of the mental processes, the "phenomenon", can be realized by a clause ("I knew he was going") or a nominal group ("I knew him").

These four conditions, though, are not always qualified in identifying actions and reactions in the actual text due to the identification of those tied to the grammar of the clause (Van Leeuwen, 2008). Besides, many reactions are not only represented dynamically by mental process clause ("they feared..."), but also are represented statically by descriptive clause such as ("they were afraid...."). To resolve these problems, Halliday (1994) provides the theory of grammatical metaphor. It deals with the idea that the concept of mental process is literally realized by the grammatical category of mental process or a static descriptive clause ("I fear you", for instance), whereas it is metaphorically realized by other ways such as a nominal group ("I am afraid of you", for instance). Those two ways of representing reactions imply the different available metaphors in order to represent the reactions.

Moreover, reactions can be unspecified through verbs like "react" and "respond" indicating a reaction directly. Also, they can be specified, that are represented as particular types of reactions. In line with these, according to Halliday (cited in Gerot & Wignell, 1994) there are three types of reactions: cognitive (verbs of thinking, knowing, understanding, etc.); affective or reactive (verbs of liking, fearing, etc.), and perceptive (verbs of seeing, hearing, perceiving, etc.) And the participant involved in these processes is not so much acting or acting upon in a doing sense. The mental process, therefore, enables language users to express opinions and thoughts that help to identify their definitions of reality. These two examples, taken from the play Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw (1913, cited in Gallardo, 2006), present a cognitive reaction ("know", "think", "notice"), a perceptive reaction ("see") and an affective reaction ("care").

2.1 Mrs. Pearce: …Of course I know you don't mean any harm; but when you get what you call interested in people's accents, you never think or care what may happen to them or you.

2.3 Liza: I notice that you don't see me.

In accordance with the representation of actions, there are two ways of interpreting social actions (Van Leeuwen, 2008). They can be interpreted as material or doings, and also as semiotic or meanings. The difference between these two interpretations can be examined through the use of grammatical realizations. Some examples, taken from the article that is entitled Mobile Stations Launched to Cope with Fuel Shortage (1 June 2012) in The Jakarta Post are:

2.3 State oil and gas firm PT Pertamina launched on Thursday mobile fuel stations to operate in industrial (…)

2.4 Each mobile station - a truck equipped with fuel tank, nozzle, fuel meter and printer - has a total capacity of between 5,000 and 8,000 liters of non-subsidized diesel fuel, he [Pertamina sales and marketing director, Hanung Budya Yuktyanta] explained.

These two representations present different attitude toward the action. Example 2.3 materializes the social action directly using a material process "launched", while example 2.4 presents that what Hanung do is only "explaining" about mobile station. Therefore, this second example semioticizes the social action by discussion.

In addition, material actions can be nontransactive; the action involving only one participant or transactive; the action involving two participants (Van Leeuwen, 2008). Thus, nontransactive does not affect other people or things; whereas transactive shows that the action is actually having an effect on people or things. According to Halliday (1985, cited in Van Leeuwen, 2008), these kinds of material processes involve the actor, the one who interacts with the actor, and the goal therein. Because the goal in these material processes is very general, Van Leeuwen (2008) asserts that it may be significant to differentiate transaction with people and transaction with things. He, therefore, characterizes two types of transactive material action; interactive and instrumental. These types can be observed in the following examples, taken from US Face Transplant Patient Promotes Organ Donation (17 September 2010) article in The Jakarta Post:

2.5 As Culp ambles down the corridor, heading for the elevator, doctors and nurses stop to hug her.

2.6 But she can play with her grandson, Maddox, a little boy who never knew his grandmother before her face was destroyed (…)

Example 2.5 is involved to interactive transaction because it affects people (through verb "hug"). It is referred to the use of verb which can only take a human object. On the other hand, if the verb takes a nonhuman object, it can be interpreted as "metonymical displacements, instrumentalizations of social actors, or projections of human social practices onto the behavior of animals, plants, and even inanimate matter" (Van Leeuwen, 2008:60). The latter example is involved to instrumental transaction because it affects other kinds of things (through verb "was destroyed"). However, in this transaction, the goal may be either human or nonhuman. In other words, this transaction takes interchangeable between people and objects through verbs "like," "transport," "destroy," etc., for instance.

Not only material actions, but also semiotic actions may be transactive (as in "he talked to his mother") or nontransactive (as in "we chatted for long time"). Thus, these semiotic actions can also be interactive or instrumental. According to Van Leeuwen (2008), semiotic actions are realized as instrumental transaction through verbs of exchange and transport such as, "give," "offer," "receive," "provide," "supply," or "convey." These verbs are followed by some kind of specified speech acts involved or the content conveyed by semiotic action. It is seen from the example, taken from Colleges Provide a Public Good (18 April 2012) in The New York Times, below.

2.7 So the government puts its thumb on the scale and gives colleges a nonprofit status to make sure we don't underinvest.

In addition, semiotic actions can deliver meanings. These meanings are resulted in a number of embedded interpretation forms such as, the form of quotation, topic specification, rendition, or form specification. Quoting may imply that interpretation is no longer needed in a certain statement, as in 2.8:

2.8 "I don't want to be a hypocrite by often being absent but also signing the attendance list and receiving salary," she told a press conference on Friday. "I don't want to be like that."

That example is selected from an article on The Jakarta Globe entitled Celebrity Lawmaker Resigns from House, Party (1 June 2012). Through these quotations, it shows that the writer of a text could not have said it better by him/herself.

Meanwhile, rendition is realized by reported speech. It is used as an interpretation or translation of something. Thus, it does not include the wording. Different from it, topic specification is known as the nature of the signified. It is typically realized by "a circumstance of matter" or a phrase with "about," "concerning" (Halliday, 1985, cited in Van Leeuwen, 2008:62). Besides, form specification, knowing as the nature of the signifier, is realized by some kinds of speech act (e.g., "nonsense," "lesson," "story") or communicative act (e.g., "drawing," "diagram," "song"). Without these embedded interpretation forms, the semiotic actions are behavioralized. The meanings, thus, cannot be represented. They can only be represented when the semiotic actions are not behavioralized.

According to Van Leeuwen (1993), there are thirteen principle ways to represent actions and reactions in English discourse. They are activation, deactivation (objectivation or descriptivization), agentialization, deagentialization (eventuation, existentialization, or naturalization), abstraction (generalization or distillation), concretization, single determination, and overdetermination (symbolization or inversion). The following section explains these ways further.

Activation and Deactivation

Actions and reactions can be activated dynamically, when they are realized by a verbal group of a non-embedded clause, or can be deactivated statically by other ways (Van Leeuwen, 1993). The activated representation of actions is presented in example 2.9 taken from short story Beauty and the Beast.

2.9 Well, the merchant went on his journey and did his business and bought a pearl necklace for his eldest daughter (…)

In other hand, deactivated representation of actions may be objectivated or descriptivized (Van Leeuwen, 2008). Objectivated actions are realized by nominalizations or process nouns or form part of prepositional phrase. However, objectivation can also be presented metonymically, through the time of the action (temporalization) or the space of the action (spatialization). The use of objectivation often means to develop purposes or legitimations. Moreover, these three examples were taken from The Kid true story. The first example below presents an objectivated action by using nominalization. The rests, then, present the uses of temporalization and spatialization.

2.10 The passion of his life was the music of Elvis Presley.

2.11 8 September 1970 is not a story from the 'bad old days' (…)

2.12 The house was always in chaos.

Contrasts to objectivation, the descriptivized actions are represented as permanent qualities of social actors or of other elements of the represented practice. They can be realized by epithets, as in 2.13, or attributes, as in 2.14.

2.13 (…) an army of well-meaning people dedicated to making it a fair world for children (…)

2.14 (…) so we must have moved there when I was still too young to take in what was happening.

Agentialization and Deagentialization

Actions and reactions can also be agentialized, represented because of human agency, or can be deagentilized, represented in other ways and not influenced by human agency (Van Leeuwen, 2008). Deagentialization is differentiated by Van Leeuwen (1993) into three types: eventuation, existentialization, and naturalization.

In the case of eventuation, actions and reactions are represented as an event, or something just happens. In representing the action, it takes a material process or uses verbs like "happen" or "occur", for instance, as in example 2.15.

2.15 As far as I know Gloria had never worked, certainly not in my living memory.

On the other hand, actions and reactions are represented as existent things through existentialization. In representing the action, it takes an existential process which usually begins with "there is…" or "there exists…" It can also use the nominalization of exist; existence. Example 2.16 below presents the existentialization.

2.16 There was no paper on any of the walls, or if there was it was hanging off in strips.

In naturalization, an action or reaction is represented as natural process by using abstract material processes like "vary," "expand," "develop," "improve," etc. They are proposed to make interpretation of material processes - to discourses of birth and death; of change and development; of fusion and disintegration; of fall and rise - more specific (Van Leeuwen, 2008):

2.17 If a private company was building the Horseshoe today it would be called a 'crescent' (…)

2.3.3. Abstraction and Concretization

Abstraction consists of two types; generalization and distillation. Action and reaction are generalized in order to abstract away from the specific actions. Besides, distillation abstracts qualities from action or reaction in order to realize purposes and legitimations. Purposes through the kinds of qualities highlighted, while legitimations through the reference of action and reaction (Van Leeuwen, 2008:70). Besides, through concretization, action and reaction are represented to become definite or clear.

2.18 All parents are mean and unfair.

2.19 (…) but I only remember living on 'The Horseshoe' - a curve of houses on King Henry's Drive in New Addington, near Croydon in Surrey - so we must (…)

That example shows that the action is generalized. It means that while some kids might call their parents mean and unfair, other kids might say that their parents are fun, nice, fair, etc. and the last one is an example of concretization.

Single Determination and Overdetermination

Overdetermination is a form of represented social actors that refer to actual social actors in more than one social practice. For instance, the king of the fairy tale can stand not only for the father, but also for the leader, hero, or even political reader (Wright, 1975, cited in Van Leeuwen, 2008:70). Similar to abstraction, overdetermination consists of two types: symbolization and inversion.

Symbolization is often realized in fictional text where a social practice stands for a number of social practices. In addition, symbolization is distinguished from naturalization and abstraction. Symbolization takes only human agents or concrete material processes. According to Van Leeuwen (2008), symbolization can humanize the usual world if nonhuman agents are not used in the concrete material processes.

Inversion can change one or more elements of the social practice into its opposite. The inversion helps to legitimate a practice as "natural and unavoidable" rather than "historically and culturally" (Van Leeuwen, 2008, cited in Wodak & Meyer, 2009). For instance is The Flinstones. The Flinstones family is depicted as people from pre-historic era, as seen from their clothes that are made of animals' hides and their house that is made from stones and rocks. However, they do activities that are common in modern era, like watching television, playing bowling or even hanging out in a night club.

Concept of Gender: Masculinity

According to Echols and Shadily (1983, cited in Hamdani, 2008), gender is understood as a difference between man and woman based on their values and behaviors. However, this term 'gender' is often considered equal to sex in several dictionaries. Meanwhile, these two terms have different meanings. Whereas sex refers to the biological characteristics of man and woman, gender refers to the traits of man and woman, which are constructed socially and culturally. Different with sex, gender is changeable (Fakih, 1999, cited in Hamdani, 2008:146). For instance, a man can have the traits of woman, and vice-versa. In other words, gender is a sociocultural construction or social categories (feminity and masculinity) that are reflected in the behavior.

Hegemonic masculinity originates within recent work in the sociology of gender. Adding the explanation of hegemonic masculinity in the previous chapter, Carrigan, Connell, and Lee (1987, cited in Billman, 2006) argue that it should not be understood as the role of man but as a particular variety of masculinity to which women are subordinated. Therefore, the concept of male power is then taken away from the notion of hegemonic masculinities, perhaps best characterized as forms of masculinity that can marginalize and dominate not only women, but also other men, on the grounds of, say, class, race or sexuality (Connell, 1987, cited in Litosseliti & Sunderland, 2002:48). This particular variety of masculinity, thus, maintains power, privilege, and dominance by defining what it means to be a real man and by articulating subordinate relational subjectivities.

Masculinity cannot be separated from the concept of the patriarchy that considers to man as a superior creature and woman as an inferior creature. However, masculinity differs from the patriarchy. Gardiner (2002) argues that the study of masculinities sees men as specifically gendered beings while the patriarchal paradigm sees men as generically and normatively human. Moreover, patriarchy is used generally to admit power of man against woman and to refer on a system that makes woman is oppressed through manifold ways (Bhasin, 1996, cited in Hermawati, 2008:22). In addition to the construction of the vertical relationship between woman and man, patriarchy also constructs an 'ideal' man. Patriarchy has been constructed universally, especially in America, by defining what an ideal man is (Billman, 2006).

Patriarchy in society is growing around the world, no exception in Javanese. In Javanese culture, there are many terms that put women lower than men (Hermawati, 2008). For instance, a wife is termed as kanca wingking, which means a friend in regulating the household, such as taking care of the children, washing, cooking, and etc. Another term is suwarga nunut neraka katut. It is referred to a wife that means a husband is the determinant of his wife will go to heaven or even hell. In other words, a wife should be obedient to her husband at all.

An image, a role and status of women have been created by culture (Hermawati, 2007:21). Images for a woman as an ideal are gentle, obedient, do not argue, and do not 'exceed' a man. Besides, images created for a man is knowledgeable, rational, aggressive, and as a role model should be more than woman. The status of a Javanese man is a breadwinner of his family, a protector, a mature man with his ideal status: the head of the family (Raharjo, 1995, cited in Hermawati, 2008).

Previous Study Using Critical Discourse Analysis: Van Leeuwen's Framework

There are some studies that utilized Critical Discourse Analysis, especially the framework of Van Leeuwen, but the writer only focuses on two studies. The first study was entitled Health and the Social Construction of Masculinity in Men's Health Magazine that is concerned with the social construction of several issues in Men's Health magazine. It was conducted by Arran Stibbe (2004) through utilizing Critical Discourse Analysis as a framework.

Here, he focuses on the interaction of three aspects. They are the discursive construction of masculinity in the magazine through the creation of images of the ideal man, the magazine's role in reproducing male power, and men's health behavior, particularly the negative health behaviors associated with hegemonic masculinity. He, then, revealed the ideological assumptions that are more closely related to the reproduction of male power and domination.

He also found that the discourse of the magazine contributes to the symbolic important areas such as muscle size, alcohol tolerance, sports, and violence, which, due to biological factors, men have advantages over women. In other words, while Men's Health magazine gives abundant health advice, in a way to reproduce a type of hegemonic masculinity, it is not associated with health but with a variety of negative health behaviors. Finally, he concluded that all participants in the creation of this concept need to challenge the discourse of hegemonic masculinity and work toward the social construction of a new, healthier form of masculinity in order to truly address the health needs of men.

Another study was entitled A Discussion of the Representation of Masculinity and Femininity in Baden-Powell's 1919 Handbooks for Scouts and Guides using the Frameworks of Theo van Leeuwen, within the Tradition of Critical Discourse Analysis. It was conducted by Hobson (2004). She analyzed the representation of social actors and the descriptivized actions or reactions from the Scouts' and Guides' handbooks of 1919, written by Robert Baden-Powell-the founder of Scouts and Guides movement, in order to investigate the representation and construction of gender identities therein.

She also investigated the way girls and boys are represented differently in the texts. Then, she found that boys are generally represented as the actors in more material and abstract material processes than girls. Another finding is that Baden-Powell descriptivized the action of doing good turn as a permanent quality of the girls such as kindness and compassion. She concluded that the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides were represented and addressed differently within their own handbooks.

Here, the present study investigates the representation of social actions by utilizing Van Leeuwen's recontextualization framework. In other words, it focuses on whether the actions that refer to the masculinity of the actors involved in the discourse are recontextualized or not. However, the present study analyzes the representations of actions in the narrative text, a novelette of Gadis Pantai.