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Unit 10. Critical Literacy in the 21st century, Part 2: How to see through the political rhetoric. University of Aruba, Faculty of Arts & Science Critical Literacy and Interaction October 4, 2010. Today’s topic. Repeat some highlights of unit 6: ideologies Political discourse

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Unit 10 critical literacy in the 21st century part 2

Unit 10. Critical Literacy in the 21st century, Part 2:

How to see through the political rhetoric

University of Aruba, Faculty of Arts & Science

Critical Literacy and Interaction

October 4, 2010


Today s topic

Today’s topic

  • Repeat some highlights of unit 6: ideologies

  • Political discourse

  • The role of persuasion

  • The role of meaning generating devices in political discourse:

    • Myths (stories)

    • Metaphors


What is an ideology

What is an ideology?

  • Ideologies are the fundamental beliefs of a group and its members


Ideology and power

Ideology and Power

Why do people develop ideologies?

Cognitively: ideologies may be developed because they organize social representations

Social basis: people are better able to form groups based on identification along various dimensions, including sharing an ideology

Since ideologies control social practices in general and discourse in particular, a social function would be: ideologies enable or facilitate joint action, interaction and cooperation of in-group, as well as interactions with out-group members (social micro level functions of ideology)

At macro level, ideologies are described in terms of group relations, in terms of power, dominance (control) but also cooperation


Power

Power


Social power and ideologies

Social power and Ideologies

The power of group A over another group B. Usually this means control of action: A is able to control (limit, prohibit, stimulate ) the actions of B.

Since discourse is also a form of action, such control may be also exercised over discourse and its properties: context, topic and style.

Since discourse may influence the mind of recipients, groups may indirectly (e.g. through mass media) also control the mind of people persuasion and manipulation

Powerful discourse may influence the way we define an event or situation in our mental models or how we represent society in our knowledge, attitudes and ideologies.

Control of discourse (sender)taking a critical stand

To have power, you have to legitimize it.


General strategy for ideological analysis of discourse

General strategy for ideological analysis of discourse

  • A method to ‘find’ ideology in text and talk.

  • We’ll link this method with the self-schema of groups

    • Membership: who are we? Who belong to us? Who can be admitted?

    • Activities: What are we doing? Planning? What is expected of us?

    • Aims: why are we doing this? What do we want to achieve?

    • Norms: What is good or bad? Allowed or not allowed in what we do?

    • Relations: Who are our friends? Or enemies? Where do we stand in society?

    • Resources: What do we have that others don’t? What don’t we have that others do have?


Political ideology

Political ideology

  • A set of beliefs and ideas that one can apply into policies and events: one’s political ‘moral code’ and worldview

  • A way to gauge one’s view of change in both society and political system

  • A way to gauge one’s view of the role of government in a society in both economic and social/moral affairs

  • 4 functions of (political) ideology:

  • Explanation

  • Evaluation

  • Orientation

  • Political program

  • http://www.slideshare.net/technolote/some-major-political-ideologies


Political discourse

Political discourse

  • Political discourse is a form of discourse with specific purposes:

    • To teach ideologies (explicitly and implicitly)

    • To legitimize power (to de-legitimize power of the other)

    • To mobilize resources


Political leadership discourse

Political leadership & Discourse

“ It has always been preferable for the governed to be ruled by the spoken word rather than by the whip, the chain or the gun” (Chaterteris-Black, 2005)

Leadership is a social act requiring individuals who are gifted in the arts of communication and self-representation as well as other who are ready to follow the visions offered by leaders

The more democratic societies become, the greater the need of the leader to convince potential followers that they and their policy can be trusted

Purpose: To legitimize power, (to de-legitimize power of the other) to mobilize

Language, discourse, the most important tool for this.

Language of leadership


Unit 10 critical literacy in the 21st century part 2

The art of persuasion


Persuasion and rhetoric

Persuasion and Rhetoric

  • Rhetoric is the art of persuading others, therefore rhetoric and persuasion are inseparable

  • The difference between rhetoric and persuasion is that the first refers to the act of communication from the receivers' perspective (hearer), while persuasion refers both to speakers intentions and to successful outcomes. Hearer’s are only persuaded when the speaker’s (sender) rhetoric is successful

  • The most rhetorically successful speech performance is the most persuasive one as measured by the follower’s responses


Classical rhetoric aristotle

Classical rhetoric (Aristotle)

  • The classical rhetorical notions of ethos, logos and pathos are very important to distinguish on which levels political discourse is aiming at:

  • Logos: rationality, the logical aspect of the content (logica)

  • Ethos: morality, normative evaluations

  • Pathos: feelings and emotions


Intention is very important in persuasion

Intention is very important in persuasion

  • Persuasion is an interactive communicative process in which a message sender aims to influence the believes, attitudes and behavior of the message receiver (Jowett & O’Donnell, 1992)

  • It is important to distinguish the two roles in the communication process:

    • The active role of the sender is characterized by deliberate intentions: persuasion doesn’t occur by chance but because of the sender’s purposes

    • The receiver’s role may be perceived as passive, but if persuasion is to be successful the message needs to comply with their wants and needs, their desires and imagination


Strategy us and them polarization

Strategy: US and ThemPolarization

  • Positive self-presentation / Negative other-Representation:

    • Say positive things about US

    • Say negative things about THEM

    • Do not say negative things about US

    • Do not say positive things about THEM

  • This is a very general characteristic of group conflict and the ways we interact we opposed groups, but also this strategy also characterizes the way we talk about ourselves and others

  • As formulated above, the strategy is too absolute, direct and general

  • Let’s look at a more subtle strategy to express ideologies in text and talk


Ideological square van dijk 2004

Ideological Square (van Dijk, 2004)

Emphasize positive things about US

Emphasize negative things about THEM

De-emphasize negative things about US

De-emphasize positive things about THEM

These 4 possibilities form a conceptual square ideological square.

It may be applied to all levels of discourse analysis: content, semantic and lexical level (meaning of words and sentences), to opposing pairs ((de)-emphasize): length, brief, explicitly, implicitly, metaphors, big or small headlines,


I m a democrat and i m a republican

I’m a democrat and I’m a republican

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiQJ9Xp0xxU

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPG25Wf0aa4&NR=1

  • Let’s answer the 5 core questions of media literacy


Core concepts translated in key questions your role consumer of media

Core concepts translated in key questions (your role: consumer of media)

  • Who created this message? (authorship/sender)

  • What creative techniques are used to attract my attention (format/creative strategies for reality construction)

  • How might different people understand this message differently? (audience/receiver)

  • What values, lifestyles and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message? (content)

  • Why is this message being sent? (purpose)


Ideological square analysis

Ideological square analysis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH8vyU3ccko&feature=related

FITNA

Meaning: Temptation, A test

Theological sense: God tests your ability to withdraw from temptation. Testing the power of believers of Islam


Meaning generating devices that carry ideologies persuasive strategies

Meaning generating devices that carry ideologies (persuasive strategies)

  • Powerful rhetorical devices are:

  • Metaphors are a persuasive figure of speech very common in political arguments, because it represents a certain way of viewing the world that reflects a shared system of believe (ideology). It has cognitive imaginary rich and emotional valueexperience

  • Myths (stories): a story that provides an explanation for all the things for which explanations are felt to be necessary

  • Ideology, myth and metaphor are similar in that they share a common discourse function of persuasion and the expressive potential for cognitive and emotional engagement


3 political myths geiss 1987

3 political myths (Geiss, 1987)

The myth of the Conspiratorial Enemy is a myth in which a hostile out-group is plotting to commit some harmful act against an in-group.

The Valiant Leader myth is one in which the political leader is benevolent and is effective in saving people from danger by displaying qualities of courage, aggression and the ability to overcome difficulties

The united We Stand myth is a belief that a group can achieve victory over its enemies by obeying and making sacrifices for its leaders


Myth 1 conspiratiorial enemy

Myth 1: Conspiratiorial enemy

  • The myth of the Conspiratorial Enemy is a myth in which a hostile out-group is plotting to commit some harmful act against an in-group

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=binMjEiS8AY

  • Other examples:

    • The islamization of the NL,

    • The communistists take over


Myth 2 the valiant leader

Myth 2: The Valiant Leader

  • The Valiant Leader myth is one in which the political leader is benevolent and is effective in saving people from danger by displaying qualities of courage, aggression and the ability to overcome difficulties

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6DD-Yd0sfA


E g expressive power for potential cognitive and emotional engagement

E.g. expressive power for potential cognitive and emotional engagement.


Myth 3 united we stand

Myth 3: United we stand

  • The United We Stand myth is a belief that a group can achieve victory over its enemies by obeying and making sacrifices for its leaders

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJoL5drdxxY


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