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Media-ted political oratory following terrorist events: International political responses to the 2005 London bombing

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Using a computer-assisted content analysis, this study analyzes a 32,000 word corpus drawn from mediated political statements made in response to the July 2005 London bombing. This grounded research led to a focus on the deontic nature of these statements, and also revealed a relative absence of condoling. Although condemnatory, statements did not specifically attribute the 'evil' to particular people. Particularly mindful of Widdowson's (2004) distinction between analysis (text) and interpretation (discourse), the paper first identifies the textual features, but then "hermeneutically" interprets their meaning within a wider context of international political discourse. The paper concludes that the statements performed a positive epideictic purpose, although it tended to occlude the compassionate element of public grieving.
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Keywords: CONDEMNATION; CONDOLENCE; DEONTIC MODALITY; DISCOURSE; EPIDEICTIC RHETORIC; MEDIA GENRES; POLITICAL ORATORY; SHOULD; TERRORISM

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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