Aditi Bhatia studies the discursive construction of social and political phenomenon from a critical discourse analytical perspective. Her goal is to better understand how people in society use language in identity-construction and argumentation.
Currently, she is the principal investigator of a project on Digital Professions that aims to explore identity-construction on YouTube. She is also a member of the Research Centre for Professional Communication in English (RCPCE) and member of the Editorial Advisory Board for World Englishes.
Social realities are often negotiated and determined by elite groups of society, including political and religious leaders, the mass media, and even professional experts, who give meaning to complex, multifaceted constructs such as terrorism consistent with their individual socio-political agendas. The Bush Administrations National Strategy for Combating Terrorism (NSCT) (2003) defines what we the public and media understand by the term terrorism; who are terrorists; what constitutes terrorism; how we can fight terrorism, etc. In order to convince audiences that the version of reality that the NSCT is representing is the objective truth, particular themes such as the construction of religion,
Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), orientalism, and attack vs. self-defence, typically realised through the use of rhetorical resources such as category work, appeals to historicity, negative other-presentation, and the use of metaphor, are utilised. Metaphors are used to construct new and alternate realities. WPMs allow a subjective conceptualisation of reality to appear more convincing through the invocation of emotions and ideologies. Drawing on a detailed analysis of NSCT, the paper investigates how metaphors are combined with other features of language and rhetoric to achieve the themes mentioned above enabling the discourse of illusion to take effect. An Associate Research Scientist in Infectious