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Shameless normalisation of impoliteness: Berlusconi’s and Trump’s press conferences

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Shameless normalisation of impoliteness : Berlusconi’s and Trump’s press conferences. / Wodak, Ruth; Culpeper, Jonathan; Semino, Elena.

In: Discourse and Society, Vol. 32, No. 3, 01.05.2021, p. 369-393.

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@article{130a0cb58bd141b78747656b556905f2,
title = "Shameless normalisation of impoliteness: Berlusconi{\textquoteright}s and Trump{\textquoteright}s press conferences",
abstract = "This paper applies the notions of impoliteness (Culpeper 2011) and shameless normalisation (Wodak 2018, 2021) to potentially impolite behaviours produced by Donald Trump and Silvio Berlusconi in official press conferences. Press conferences, as an activity type, involve relatively clear expectations and norms, so that impolite behaviours theoretically constitute particularly salient violations. We present two case studies involving racist and misogynist insults on the part of Berlusconi and Trump, respectively, analysed in their co-textual, interactional, socio-political as well as historical contexts (Reisigl and Wodak 2016). We describe the kinds of impoliteness that each politician employs, without any apology, and argue that they involve violations of the traditional moral order that are part of a far-right populist agenda of shameless normalisation. In each case, we examine comments posted in response to YouTube videos of each incident and provide evidence of polarized responses, but with substantial proportions expressing positive evaluations. We observe that impoliteness affords the possibility of presenting authentic and hyper-masculine identities and finish by reflecting on the implications of our findings for the local and global political and cultural landscape.",
keywords = "Shameless normalisation, impoliteness, press conferences, far right discourse, Berlusconi, Trump, racism, antisemitism sexism, discourse-historical approach",
author = "Ruth Wodak and Jonathan Culpeper and Elena Semino",
year = "2021",
month = may,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0957926520977217",
language = "English",
volume = "32",
pages = "369--393",
journal = "Discourse and Society",
issn = "0957-9265",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
number = "3",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Shameless normalisation of impoliteness

T2 - Berlusconi’s and Trump’s press conferences

AU - Wodak, Ruth

AU - Culpeper, Jonathan

AU - Semino, Elena

PY - 2021/5/1

Y1 - 2021/5/1

N2 - This paper applies the notions of impoliteness (Culpeper 2011) and shameless normalisation (Wodak 2018, 2021) to potentially impolite behaviours produced by Donald Trump and Silvio Berlusconi in official press conferences. Press conferences, as an activity type, involve relatively clear expectations and norms, so that impolite behaviours theoretically constitute particularly salient violations. We present two case studies involving racist and misogynist insults on the part of Berlusconi and Trump, respectively, analysed in their co-textual, interactional, socio-political as well as historical contexts (Reisigl and Wodak 2016). We describe the kinds of impoliteness that each politician employs, without any apology, and argue that they involve violations of the traditional moral order that are part of a far-right populist agenda of shameless normalisation. In each case, we examine comments posted in response to YouTube videos of each incident and provide evidence of polarized responses, but with substantial proportions expressing positive evaluations. We observe that impoliteness affords the possibility of presenting authentic and hyper-masculine identities and finish by reflecting on the implications of our findings for the local and global political and cultural landscape.

AB - This paper applies the notions of impoliteness (Culpeper 2011) and shameless normalisation (Wodak 2018, 2021) to potentially impolite behaviours produced by Donald Trump and Silvio Berlusconi in official press conferences. Press conferences, as an activity type, involve relatively clear expectations and norms, so that impolite behaviours theoretically constitute particularly salient violations. We present two case studies involving racist and misogynist insults on the part of Berlusconi and Trump, respectively, analysed in their co-textual, interactional, socio-political as well as historical contexts (Reisigl and Wodak 2016). We describe the kinds of impoliteness that each politician employs, without any apology, and argue that they involve violations of the traditional moral order that are part of a far-right populist agenda of shameless normalisation. In each case, we examine comments posted in response to YouTube videos of each incident and provide evidence of polarized responses, but with substantial proportions expressing positive evaluations. We observe that impoliteness affords the possibility of presenting authentic and hyper-masculine identities and finish by reflecting on the implications of our findings for the local and global political and cultural landscape.

KW - Shameless normalisation

KW - impoliteness

KW - press conferences

KW - far right discourse

KW - Berlusconi

KW - Trump

KW - racism

KW - antisemitism sexism

KW - discourse-historical approach

U2 - 10.1177/0957926520977217

DO - 10.1177/0957926520977217

M3 - Journal article

VL - 32

SP - 369

EP - 393

JO - Discourse and Society

JF - Discourse and Society

SN - 0957-9265

IS - 3

ER -