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Order in disorder

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Recent research has established that Japanese political oratory and audience behaviour (Bull & Feldman 2011; Feldman & Bull 2012) are fundamentally different to those found in British political speeches (Heritage & Greatbatch 1986). To further develop these cross-cultural analyses of political rhetoric, speaker-audience interaction was analysed in ten speeches by the two second-round candidates in the 2012 French presidential elections (Fran├žois Hollande; Nicolas Sarkozy). Analogous to British speeches, French speeches were characterised by “implicit” affiliative response invitations and asynchronous speaker-audience interaction, in contrast to Japanese “explicit” invitations and synchrony. These results were interpreted in terms of Hofstede’s (2001) individualism-collectivism cultural dimensions. Dissimilarities in audience responses between the two candidates were also identified and discussed. The analysis of cross-cultural differences continues to reveal the intricate differences between societies, and ensures academic understanding on rhetoric is not boxed into crude universal rules.
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Keywords: French; applause; audience response; cross-cultural analysis; political speeches; rhetoric

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 19, 2018

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