Socio-Cognitive Compositional Meaning In Migration Discourse: Exploring Identification Strategies In Multimodal Representation Of Afghan Refugees Living In Pakistan

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Dr. Sara Khan , Maryam Jahangir , Maimoona Khan


This study investigates socio-cognitive discursive strategies (DS) to explore the counter-narrative present in Afghan refugees' photographs living in Pakistan. Keeping in view the cognitive import of visual discursive events, the current study takes on a cognitive-functional perspective by employing an integrated model based on Christopher Hart’s Cognitive Linguistic Critical Discourse Analysis (CL-CDA) and Kress and van Leeuwen’s Visual Grammar (VG). The study explores Cognitive Systems such as ‘Attention’ through socio-cognitive discursive strategies such as ‘Identification’. 80 photographs, each along with their respective taglines from Muhammad Muheisen and UNHCR online news galleries, were employed as data sets for the analysis. In addition, software such as UAM Corpus Tool and UAM Image Tool were employed to reveal compositional and interactional features. The findings revealed the compositional structures such as ‘salience’, ‘focus’ and ‘granularity’ in the selected data sets and DS of ‘Identification’.  Finally, the analysis of data sets revealed the socio-political representation of Afghan migrants and their living standards.  Overall, the study contributes in creating a combinatory model characterised by both cognitive and functional perspectives of discourse.

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