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Language Use in the Public Sphere

Methodological Perspectives and Empirical Applications


Edited By Inés Olza Moreno, Óscar Loureda Lamas and Manuel Casado

This book comprises a range of general discussions on tradition and innovation in the methodology used in discourse studies (Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis, Argumentation Theory, Rhetoric, Philosophy) and a number of empirical applications of such methodologies in the analysis of actual instances of language use in the public sphere – in particular, discourses arising in the context of the debate on the presence of religious symbols in public places.
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Public Discourse on the Internet: Interactive Control of the Integration Debate in German: Alberto Gil



Public Discourse on the Internet: Interactive Control of the Integration Debate in German

New forms of public discourse on the Internet (Web 2.0) enable greater semiotic plurality and concentration: closer ties between texts and images, professional writers and amateur enthusiasts, as well as reader comments. In light of the debate about integration in German, this chapter describes a mode of textual analysis in which such “media rhetoric” is addressed in relation to the rhetorical parameters of emotion and visualization. In this regard, the main features of new forms of communication are presented in terms of the critical-hermeneutic awareness of the new readers/writers, argumentative emotionality, the use of images, and the creation of textual dramaturgy.

Keywords: Online articles; Online comments; Emotionality; Media rhetoric; Visualization.

On 8 July 2008, with strong support from the Swiss People’s Party (SVP: original acronym), a decision was taken to hold a referendum in Switzerland on a constitutional amendment to ban the building of minarets. An advertising campaign in favor of the initiative ran for a year, until the amendment was passed with 57.5% of the votes cast on 29 November 2009.

Posters and images (in the street and on the Internet) played a key role in the referendum campaign, used to warn voters of the danger to the country if the increased Muslim presence were not to be curbed.

To introduce the topic, example (1) below comprises an extract (with translation into...

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