Language analysis of convention on the rights of the child to enhance societal awareness on the issue

The research aims to explore the cognitive-semantic structure of the above child rights phenomenon through the language analysis, and compare the perceptions of different stakeholders as target audiences with regard to diverse formats of the Convention contents and its essence representation. The research data combines academic literature on the topic, the text of the Convention on the rights of the child, its child friendly version as the background material for empirical study, and the data from the open-ended questionnaire. The research sample includes social workers, teachers, and lawyers who deal with children’s rights issues. The research methods integrate theoretical analysis of relevant literature, textual analysis of the Convention text (including content analysis, manual and automated coding, distributional analysis), and open-ended questionnaire of the experts in the field under study. SPSS was used for statistical data processing. The research findings show that the linear enumeration of rights through the Convention articles leads just to the same linear perception of the above. Meanwhile, schematic verbal-visual representation of the Convention as a cognitive-semantic macrostructure provides grounds for synergetic interpretation where not just the rights, but the stakeholders, the scope and specifics of their duties and obligations, societal contexts of their activities and measures to ensure child’s rights can be explicitly introduced. The findings lead to the conclusion that the interpretation of the Convention text through its cognitive-semantic structure can contribute to enhancing public awareness and education on the child’s rights within social care, legal, secondary and higher education settings. The research results cast new light on the potential of discourse analysis for the Convention interpretation within legal, educational and academic contexts. © 2019, Association for Social Studies Educa. All rights reserved.

Association for Social Studies Educa
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  • 1 Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, RUDN University, Russian Federation
  • 2 University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Ключевые слова
Cognitive linguistics; Interdisciplinary discourse studies; Language; Semantic analysis; Societal awareness
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