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Equivocation and doublespeak in far-right wing discourse: an analysis of Nick Griffin's performance on BBC's question time

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

An analysis was conducted of the discourse of Nick Griffin (leader of the BNP, the far right-wing British National Party), as featured on a television debate, broadcast on the popular BBC current affairs program Question Time (22 October 2009). On the basis of equivocation theory (Bavelas et al. 1990), it was hypothesized that Griffin's discourse may be seen to reflect an underlying communicative conflict. On the one hand, to be seen as racist is widely regarded as reprehensible in contemporary British society; on the other hand, much of the BNP's political support comes from its anti-immigrant stance. In this context, it was proposed that while Griffin denies criticisms that characterize the BNP as anti-immigrant or racist, he puts over his political message through implicit meanings, seemingly vague and ambiguous, but which carry clear implications regarding the BNP's continued underlying anti-immigrant stance. These implicit messages were further conceptualized as a form of "doublespeak" - language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words, and which may be characterized as a form of "calculated ambivalence."
Tijdschrift: TEXT & TALK
ISSN: 1860-7330
Issue: 1
Volume: 34
Pagina's: 1 - 22
Jaar van publicatie:2014
BOF-publication weight:0.1
CSS-citation score:1
Authors from:Higher Education