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Conference Information

Full Title: Position and Stance in Politics

Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Start Date: 16-Jul-2017 - 16-Jul-2017
Contact: Cristina Perna
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: We would like to invite you to participate in a panel of the upcoming International Pragmatics Association Conference: Position and Stance in Politics: The Individual, the Party, and the Party Line

Lawrence N. Berlin (Northeastern University) & Cristina Perna (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul)

Within the political sphere, a political actor is often judged by what he says, with language perceived as representative of the individual actor. Indeed, they are individuals with a lifetime of experiences and actions which inform, but may also undermine, their aspirations in gaining political capital (Bourdieu, 1986). However, these actors do not exist in isolation; they are members and, at times, potential candidates of a particular political party with its own ideology and agenda which may cause them to modify their personal speech to align with espoused policies of the party. The aim of this panel is to examine the discourse of political actors through a pragmatic lens, enabling the unraveling of multiple layers of language use and pragmatic representation within political discourse.

Panel participants may explore the pragmatic acts within the discourse from a variety of ways, including (but not limited to) the approach and the social practice (e.g., speech, debate, blog). For instance, from a theoretical and categorical perspective, panel participants may integrate Positionality Theory (Harré & van Langenhove, 1991, 1999; Harré & Moghaddam, 2003) as it presents a manner of identifying how individuals enact their roles through language, or pragmatically. Through their utterances, political actors provide an image of who they are; through first order, second order, and third order positioning, the language use delimits who the speaker is (or who he wants the voters to believe he is), who he believes the interlocutor is, and who he believes others outside the immediate communication are. Positionality Theory is quintessentially pragmatic in that the focus remains on the speaker and his use of language to frame a picture of the parties referred to, even more so because it doesn’t need to rely on absolute truth, but can present a case of language manipulation par excellence (Berlin, 2015; Mey, 2001).

This panel and its speakers will explore various forms of political discourse and the multiple stances politicos take therein, utilizing a clearly defined theoretical perspective and a specified social practice in order to shed light on the ways political actors can position themselves, their party, and/or their opponents toward the ostensive voters. In so doing, we hope to generate hypotheses surrounding how espoused perspectives relate to or reflect on the nature of the individual and his truth, the party he represents and its ideology, and/or the pandering to popular public opinion in order to curry favor.
Linguistic Subfield: Pragmatics
LL Issue: 27.2897

This is a session of the following meeting:
15th International Pragmatics Conference

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