4.3.3 Understanding how and why texts are produced

The forms that texts take are often closely related to their means of production, and the intentions of the producers, which are shaped by political and commercial forces, or sometimes simply by certain views of the world (ideologies). It is important to be aware of these forces and ask questions of texts, such as who produced it and why? What is its purpose? What views does it portray or reject? This is not to argue that texts are intrinsically sinister; rather that authors/producers have a purpose which is not always apparent, and which may suppress alternatives or guide our interpretation of the text. This ideological approach (involving often quite detailed critique of texts) has been an important one over the last three decades, and has been taken up by social scientists and linguists in particular.

4.3.2 Understanding multimodal texts

4.4 The notion of ‘design’