(Center Identification Number: 79062-19)
The purpose of this project is to examine the linguistic choices (e.g., vocabulary, grammar, structure) that frame the relationships between bicyclists and other parties involved in fatal crash events, while attending to identity constructions of social actors and interrogating sociocultural contexts (i.e., policy and economy). Through critical discourse analysis (CDA), a rigorous qualitative method that is used to analyze both oral and written communication, researchers identify how linguistic choices form patterns that (re)occur and (re)produce systems of meaning that shape urban landscapes and the social identities of bicyclists and motorists. CDA reveals the “common sense” or “taken-for-granted” lexicon of transportation by examining the nuances of language. Discourse analysts identify language as a site of ideological struggle, putting emphasis on creative outcomes and the prospect of social change. This interdisciplinary study is a unique contribution to transportation literature as it employs a methodology that is typically reserved for communication scholars and linguists.