The Discourse of Politics in Action: Politics as Usual

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Seminar with Ruth Wodak on the book The Politics of Fear: What Right-Wing Populist Discourses Mean The primary method used is the Discourse-Historical Approach to Critical Discourse Analysis, which enables complex investigations of political communication in a variety of political contexts. The corpora used contain interactional and organizational patterns that can be further studied by analyzing discursive features present in this section. If Chapter 4 follows a real MEP throughout his daily parliamentary routine, Chapter 5 analyzes two episodes of The West Wing, a soap presenting the everyday, virtual lives of American politicians.

Chapter 6 — Order or Disorder — Fiction or Reality? However, if the complications of everyday politics in fictionalized form shed an even more ambiguous light on reality, then confusion and subsequently disenchantment with politics ensue.

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Click here to sign up. Second, how can the effects of the reflexivity of the research subjects be dealt with, i.

The Discourse of Politics in Action: Politics as Usual

In this chapter Wodak concentrates on the ways in which an Austrian MEP attempts to reconcile the pressures stemming from the need to follow up on many issues, time limitations and mobility requirements, on the one hand, with the necessity to professionally and effectively perform on the front stage, on the other.

She emphases the structural limitations put on an MEPs work such a loads of paper to be processed and gives a detailed analysis of an MEP and his assistant discursive strategies e. By following a MEP from morning till evening through a briefing with an assistant, committee meetings, lunch and a lecture, Ruth Wodak aims at depoliticizing politics, i.

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Log In Sign Up. Nichole added it May 11, Being a prolific researcher and author, Ruth Wodak has been addressing a wide variety of topics such as discursive re production of racial discrimination, xenophobia and anti-Semitism, communication aspects of gender relations, the construction of organization and policies through discourse, the discursive representations of migration and migrants, nationalist discourse and rhetoric, populist politics — to name a few. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Parvina marked it as to-read Nov 12, This book is an interdisciplinary study providing first-hand evidence of the everyday lives of politicians; what politicians actually do on the backstage in political organizations. Return to Book Page.

On the one hand, this call is understandable if it has been intended as a remedy to overcome the dissatisfaction with political sphere that negatively influences participation in contemporary democracies and is an impediment to democratic politics. On the other hand, however, this call backgrounds numerous negative practices that constitute the backstage of doing politics at both national and European level. Moreover, it underestimates the power dimension of the political field which distinguishes it quite significantly from economic field or field of cultural production.

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In the fifth chapter the author turns from real to fictional politics and offers a detailed analysis of the discursive and narrative strategies used in the political drama series The West Wing, in which White House staff and the President of the United States himself are the core characters. She chooses the TV series since it is not focused on crises and catastrophes solely, but allows viewers to follow everyday life of fictional politicians. Wodak aims at comparing the everyday routines she has traced during her research in EP with the fictional political routines of The West Wing.

The popularity of the series and the fact that its producers often reacted to current problems such as terrorist attacks on World Trade Centre on September 11, , solidify her opinion that media representations of politics are used to set an ideal type of doing politics and create a myth of good politics and politicians. She demonstrates that that fictional politicians act according to the schemata set for literary heroes.


The main function of the series is thus to establish order and demonstrate that the good win and the evil ones are punished. At the same time the series producers address the actual problems and in that way aim at setting the modes of behavior, e. The author binds her empirical analysis with the core problem that has been set at the beginning of the book: On an analytical plane this problem is replicated as a gap between the macro-analysis of institutional and decision making processes and micro analysis of concrete political events and individual politicians. In the sixth chapter Ruth Wodak draws a conclusion that political order is being created out of daily fragmentation and multiple routines by practices of knowledge management; those who share common agenda form alliances, those who do not are excluded p.

The importance of discursive practices and prevalence of intersubjective discourses over individual efforts of meaning making and position attainment is emphasized.

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She also concludes that media representations of politics contribute to the fictionalization of politics and politization of fiction, thus the vicious circle of the problem of the dissatisfaction and distrust to real life politics is not aided. The contribution of discourse analysis to solving this problem according to Wodak lies in its de-mystifying function: The book is a valuable contribution to the analysis of everyday political routines.

Its subject matter borders political anthropology, thus the use of ethnographic methodology comes as no surprise. From the perspective of critical discourse analysis the task of demystifying or disenchanting politics while at the same time not oversimplifying or scandalizing it is of utmost importance.