Narratives of dialogue in parliamentary discourse
Constructing the ethos of the receptive politician
This paper puts forward an argument about the relation between narratives and constructed dialogue in political discourse. Narratives of dialogue are special cases of constructed dialogue that emphasize the embeddedness of the speaker, displayed as a discourse participant engaging in a conversation with an ordinary citizen or a public figure. Close analysis of British, German, and French parliamentary debates reveals how narratives of dialogue shape an image of the speaker involved in a dialogue. While being engaged in the activity of debating, parliamentarians simultaneously perform the act of debating. I argue that the main point of narratives of dialogue is not so much to report on a prior or hypothetical situation, but to create the ethos of a Member of Parliament receptive to their interlocutors.
Keywords: constructed dialogue, narrative, identity construction, parliamentary discourse, public image, ethos
Published online: 01 December 2020
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