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The use of exclusionary language to manipulate opinion: John Howard, asylum seekers and the reemergence of political incorrectness in Australia

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This article explores the role of language used by the Australian prime minister and other politicians in swaying Australian public opinion against ‘boat people’, focusing especially on particular lexical items. The article contextualizes the representation and treatment of asylum seekers and the language used to do this, both generally in the contemporary period and in the history of Australia as a British outpost in the Pacific. It relates this to other issues expressed linguistically concerning national identity.
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Keywords: language and identity; language of exclusion; refugees; ‘political correctness’

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2005

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