Managing ideological differences in joint political press conferences
A study of the strategic use of the personal pronoun ‘we’
This study focuses on Swedish political press conferences and explores the discursive efforts of politicians to express unity despite diverging ideological views. It concerns the use of the first person pronoun ‘we’ (Swedish. we) and is influenced by both dialogue theory and linguistic theories, which highlight the meaning of pronouns in context. The data consist of transcribed web broadcasts of press conferences with the leaders of the four political parties that form the Swedish Government since 2006. Our analysis reveals that a clear-cut use of the personal pronoun ‘we’ can serve the same political purposes as a more ambiguous use, i.e. to show unity while there are differences. The four party leaders are involved in a communicative project of ‘doing unity’ to demonstrate that they are a very capable government.
Keywords: political communication, press conferences, dialogue theory, pronouns, communicative project, journalism, politics
Published online: 27 September 2013
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