How Does A Prime Minister Speak?
Kevin Rudd’s discourse, habitus, and negotiation of the journalistic and political fields
This paper investigates how political subjectivity is framed and expressed through language use in television political interviews. The paper argues that Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and field provide a useful framework for analyses of political subjectivity in news media interviews, but it also argues that the more sociological emphasis of Bourdieu’s theory cannot sufficiently account for the constitutive importance of discourse in the agency of the habitus and the boundaries and authority of different fields. As such, the analysis also draws on critical discourse analysis to demonstrate how Prime Ministerial discourse involves negotiations of different constitutive features of an individual subjectivity, and also negotiations between a particular habitus and the exigencies of the journalistic and political fields. Through an analysis of interviews of former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on influential Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) programmes, Insiders and the 7.30 Report, it is argued that the Prime Minister attempts to exercise political authority through an ensemble of discourses, initiating different relations with the interviewers, political colleagues and opponents, leading public figures in other fields, and the Australian public.
Keywords: Television interviews, subjectivity, political style, habitus, fields, discourse, journalism, Rudd, Australia
Published online: 31 January 2014
Cited by 6 other publications
Collado-Campaña, Francisco, José Francisco Jiménez-Díaz & Francisco Entrena-Durán
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