Chapter published in:Greece in Crisis: Combining critical discourse and corpus linguistics perspectives
Edited by Ourania Hatzidaki and Dionysis Goutsos
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 70] 2017
► pp. 151–190
The “theory of the two extremes”
A rhetorical topography for self- and other-identification across the Greek political spectrum
This chapter reports on a large-scale quantitative and qualitative investigation of the use of the notion of “extremism” in the public discourse of significant political actors during the Greek crisis. It focuses on its employment as a rhetorical tool for the stigmatization of political opponents, specifically for the delegitimation, by the government representatives at the time (New Democracy and PASOK), of potentially threatening political/electoral rivals (principally SYRIZA and the Left, and secondarily Golden Dawn). We also examine the reaction of the stigmatized, by analysing the discourse of the parliamentary opposition, extra-parliamentary web fora and social-revolutionary terrorists, where several strategies of response are identified. We observe that respondents universally prefer lower-key rhetorical techniques, probably in an effort to disconfirm the politically costly extremism reproach.
Keywords: extremism, lexicophraseology, organizational identity, political identity, political polarization, recontextualization, social actors
Published online: 26 July 2017
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