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
- The social, ethical and political lives of language
- Form: what counts as moral talk?
- Function: what does moral talk do?
- Moral systems and ethical life
- Critiquing moral talk
Moral talk: forms, functions and value
Moral philosophy and moral talk
Post-crisis Britain, the moral economy and moral panic
Outline of the book
Social life of language
Michael Meacher’s speech
Ethical life of language
Political life of language
Stance, evaluation and moral talk
Evaluative language, stance, fact and value
Hobart and the multifunctionality of moral talk
Situations and ideologies
Moral systems and ethical life
The linguistic distinction
Moral systems, ethical life and radio phone-ins
What is critique?
7.? Critiquing interpretation
Hymes’ ethical sociolinguistics
Emotivism as a corporate technology
Emotivism in political communications
Linguistic expertise and arguments for emotivism
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
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.