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. 333–360
Reading political minds
“Backstage” politics in audience reception
Audiences often speculate about why it is politicians behave in the way they do and say the things they say. Indeed, journalists and academics are frequently called upon to decode these behaviours for “lay” audiences. An integral part of “doing” politics is thus to reconstruct the backstage political processes leading to politicians’ frontstage performances (see Wodak 2009). To account for this speculative activity, I draw on Goffman’s (1981) notion of the “production format” of discourse, alongside concepts from cognitive and social psychology, specifically Schema Theory, Attribution Theory and Theory of Mind. To illustrate this interdisciplinary framework, I analyse journalistic reactions to a speech by the British politician and former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband.
Keywords: Ed Miliband, Theory of Mind, Attribution Theory, production format, Goffman, Schema Theory, Labour Party, ad hocing, schema, political discourse
Published online: 12 December 2018
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Cited by 3 other publications
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