Order in disorder: Audience responses and political rhetoric in speeches from the second round of the 2012 French presidential election

Sarah Ledoux, Peter Bull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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 (François 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-541
Number of pages22
JournalPragmatics and Society
Volume8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • political speeches
  • rhetoric
  • audience response
  • applause
  • French
  • cross-cultural analysis

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