The Construction of ‘Ordinariness’ across Media Genres

ORCID logoAnita Fetzer | University of Augsburg
Elda Weizman | Bar-Ilan University
ISBN 9789027204288 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
ISBN 9789027261977 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
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Departing from the premise that ‘being ordinary’ is brought into the discourse and brought out in the discourse and is thus an interactional achievement, the contributions to this edited volume investigate its construction, reconstruction and deconstruction in media discourse. Ordinariness is perceived as a scalar notion which is conceptualised against the background of both non-ordinariness and extra-ordinariness. The chapters address its strategic construction across media genres (public talk, Prime Minister’s Questions, interview, radio call-in, commenting) and discursive activities (tweets, social media posts) as done in various languages (American English, Austrian German, British English, Chinese, French, Finnish, Hebrew and Japanese) by professional participants (e.g., politicians, journalists, scientists) and by ordinary people participating in media discourse (e.g., ordinary citizens, viewers, members of the audience). Discursive strategies used to bring about (non/extra) ordinariness include small stories, quotations, conversational style, irony, naming and addressing as well as references to the private-public interface.
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 307] 2019.  vi, 297 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“A ubiquitous phenomenon in public communication, ordinariness has thus far received surprisingly little attention in discourse studies. The present volume fills this gap, defining original research handles and applying them to a broad spectrum of media, political, and expert discourses. Drawing on data from a range of languages and media cultures, from American to Finnish, the chapters highlight the intriguing ways in which public/private identities are constructed and strategically conflated in discourse interaction to enact multiple social and political goals. Altogether, the volume constitutes much recommended reading for scholars working in and across the fields of pragmatics, discourse analysis, media communication, as well as social psychology and political science.”
“The practice of doing 'being ordinary' has become pervasive in contemporary social, cultural and political lives. Ordinary people are central producers of content and 'ordinariness' has become a token of authenticity for political representatives and public figures. This volume brings together a group of established and emerging scholars who have advanced our understanding of the performances and representations of ordinariness across a range of contexts, media and genres. "The Construction of 'Ordinariness' across Media Genres" is a must-read collection and offers cutting-edge perspectives on one of the most intriguing discursive phenomena of our time.”
“Continuing their innovative and prolific earlier publications and international cooperation, Anita Fetzer and Elda Weizman in this new book present an extraordinary selection of articles inspired by Harvey Sacks’ famous article on “doing ordinariness”. Scholars from Israel, Austria, China, France, Japan and Finland, analyzing various social and other media genres and contexts show how with subtle discursive strategies non-ordinary speakers such as elite politicians or financial experts engage in “doing ordinariness” to make a positive political or professional impression – and how ordinary speakers may functionally display their ordinariness. A unique combination of sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, genre theory, positioning theory and conversation analysis.”
“In this era of globalization and new media, the present volume is recommended as being of great interest to any academics and researchers involved in pragmatics and discourse.”
“The volume is a valuable contribution to both linguistic and communication studies. It is not only meant for students and scholars interested in discourse analysis and pragmatics, but also an insightful resource for researchers in multimodality and media studies.”
Cited by

Cited by 4 other publications

Fetzer, Anita
2022. Small stories and accountability of discursive action in mediated political discourse: Contextualisation and recontextualisation of ordinary and not-so-ordinary participants. Frontiers in Communication 7 DOI logo
Gruber, Helmut
2022. “Secret Service Plot” or “Drunken Night”? Accounting Strategies in a Resignation Speech and Their Uptake in Media Reports in Three Countries. Contrastive Pragmatics 3:3  pp. 397 ff. DOI logo
Xie, Chaoqun & Ying Tong
2021. Chapter 7. Inviting a purchase. In Approaches to Internet Pragmatics [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 318],  pp. 207 ff. DOI logo
Xie, Chaoqun, Francisco Yus & Hartmut Haberland
2021. Introduction. In Approaches to Internet Pragmatics [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 318],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 19 november 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Communication Studies

Communication Studies

Main BIC Subject

CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009030: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Pragmatics
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2019031186 | Marc record