Chapter published in:Doing Politics: Discursivity, performativity and mediation in political discourse
Edited by Michael Kranert and Geraldine Horan
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 80] 2018
► pp. 105–126
Off the record
The transcription of parliamentary debates for political discourse analysis
This chapter examines the benefits and drawbacks of using Official Reports, such as the UK House of Commons “Hansard” for political discourse analysis. Previous studies identifying transformations that occur to the oral version of events in the process of constructing Official Reports (e.g. Slembrouck 1992) show that transcribers and editors make significant changes and omissions, raising questions about their suitability for the analysis of parliamentary discourse. Acknowledging the theoretical, analytical and interpretative elements of all transcriptions, I critically appraise different types of political discourse analysis that use UK Official Report data. I conclude with some suggestions about the categories affected by Official Report transformations, and suggest that using this data for the analysis of parliamentary discourse should always be critical and reflexive.
Keywords: discourse analysis, transcription, Official Report, Hansard, political discourse, parliamentary debates, linguistic data, representation, speech and writing
Published online: 12 December 2018
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Demmen, Jane, Lesley Jeffries & Brian Walker
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