1st Edition

Moral Talk
Stance and Evaluation in Political Discourse





ISBN 9780367734732
Published December 18, 2020 by Routledge
226 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description



This book is about moral talk in contemporary British political discourse, drawing on speeches, debates and radio phone-ins. Using a critical sociolinguistic approach, Spencer-Bennett explores the language people use to communicate moral judgement and highlights the relations between the things that people say, the contexts in which they are said and the circulating ideologies about meaning and morality. This is key reading for students and scholars studying language, politics and critical discourse analysis, within linguistics and anthropology.



Table of Contents

Acknowledgements









  1. Introduction




  2. Moral talk: forms, functions and value



    Emotivism



    Moral philosophy and moral talk



    Post-crisis Britain, the moral economy and moral panic



    Outline of the book







  3. The social, ethical and political lives of language




  4. Introduction



    Social life of language



    Michael Meacher’s speech



    Ethical life of language



    Political life of language



    Conclusion







  5. Form: what counts as moral talk?




  6. Introduction



    Stance, evaluation and moral talk



    Quotability



    Specificity



    Determinacy



    Checklist



    Conclusion







  7. Function: what does moral talk do?




  8. Introduction



    Evaluative language, stance, fact and value



    Hobart and the multifunctionality of moral talk



    Cotext



    Situations and ideologies



    Cameron’s speech



    Eric’s call



    Conclusion







  9. Moral systems and ethical life




  10. Introduction



    Moral systems and ethical life



    The linguistic distinction



    Moral systems, ethical life and radio phone-ins



    Modest moralising



    Conclusion







  11. Critiquing moral talk




Introduction



What is critique?



Bias



Power



Illegitimate power



Immanent critique



Moral realism



Veracity



Explanatory critique



Lay normativity



Conclusion





7.? Critiquing interpretation



Introduction



Interpretative agency



Language ideologies



Hymes’ ethical sociolinguistics



Emotivism as a corporate technology



Emotivism in political communications



Linguistic expertise and arguments for emotivism



Conclusion





8. Conclusion



Introduction



What is moral talk?



What does moral talk do?



What is moral talk good for?



Methodology: the field, the meta-field, and the armchair



Theory: linguistic interpretivism and moral realism





References



Index

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Author(s)

Biography

Joe Spencer-Bennett is Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham. He has published articles in the journals Discourse & Society, Journal of Sociolinguistics, Language & Communication and Social Semiotics. His research concerns the ethical and political life of communication.