Addressing women in the Greek parliament
Institutionalized confrontation or sexist aggression?
In accordance with numerous studies highlighting aspects of political and parliamentary discourse that concern the rhetoric of political combat, verbal attacks and offensive language choices are shown to be rather common in the context of a highly adversarial parliamentary system such as the Greek. In the present study, however, the analysis of excerpts of parliamentary discourse addressed to women reveals not just aspects of the organization of rival political encounters but, as far as female MPs are concerned, aggressive and derogatory forms of speech that directly attack the gender of the addressees. Drawing on data from video-recordings, the official proceedings of parliamentary sittings, and the media (2012–2015), the present study investigates aggressive/sexist discourse within this context. The theoretical issues addressed concern the impoliteness end of the politeness/politic speech/impoliteness continuum in the light of extreme cases of conflict in political/parliamentary discourse.
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