Sociocultural Discourse Analysis of the “New Left” in the USA by Tom Heyden: Linguistic Characteristics and Socio-Cultural Viewpoints

Document Type : Research Article


Kazan Federal University



Sociocultural discourse analysis is a methodology for studying the use of language for collective thinking. It was specifically designed for studying the talk of children working together in a group in a classroom, but it has also been used for studying talk amongst adults. In addition, the developing analysis was augmented by SD–informed approaches that dealt with discourse data at word-level and that looked to make apparent any patterns across the body of the discourse data. Tom Hayden was a leader of the “New Left” organization “Students for a Democratic Society” (SDS) and an author of their main document the Port-Huron Statement (1962), an anti-war activist, a defendant in the case of “Chicago Seven” in 1968, a lawmaker with 18 years of experience and an initiator of major social, interracial and economic programs, a university professor and an author of more than 20 books of articles, a member of the Advisory Council of the “Progressive Democrats of America”, belonging to the left wing of the US Democratic Party. Hayden began journalistic activities early. We conclude with some comments about the value of this methodological approach for examining professional discourse more widely.