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© 2019

Political Identity in Discourse

The Voices of New Zealand Voters

Book

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Jay M. Woodhams
    Pages 1-38
  3. Jay M. Woodhams
    Pages 67-101
  4. Jay M. Woodhams
    Pages 103-140
  5. Jay M. Woodhams
    Pages 213-220
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 221-225

About this book

Introduction

"Giving voters their voice, Woodhams’ interview-based study offers a richly inflected portrayal of political identity in New Zealand. At once fluid and stable, these voices nuance the meanings of political tenets such as egalitarianism and its converse, the ‘tall poppy’. Woodhams’ approach through critical realism is a refreshing counterpoint to the hyper-constructivism of some contemporary discourse analysis." - Allan Bell, Professor of Language and Communication, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

This book takes an innovative view of language and politics, charting the terrain of political identities and discourses in New Zealand through detailed linguistic analysis of interactions with its voters. The author first sets out the geographical and sociopolitical context, examining how the constraints of a small and isolated country interact with widespread social values such as egalitarianism. He then delves into the multiple nature of identities and explores how Kiwis form their political selves through informal talk with others and in engagement with their physical and discursive surroundings. In doing so, the author provides an in-depth exploration of New Zealand political culture, identity and discourse, and sheds light on how we use language to become political people. This book will be of interest to linguists, political scientists and sociologists working with discourse analysis.

Jay M. Woodhams teaches academic literacy at the Australian National University, Canberra, and is a Research Associate of the Language in the Workplace Project, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He has published on populist political discourse in New Zealand and has looked at language use in the workplace and parliamentary contexts. His areas of interest include interactional sociolinguistics, pragmatics, cognitive linguistics and theories of discourse.

Keywords

interactional sociolinguistics political discourse voter identity New Zealand politics critical realism metaphor analysis rhetoric 'tall poppy' syndrome mutliple stances self and other egalitarianism political landscapes

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

About the authors

Jay M. Woodhams teaches academic literacy at the Australian National University, Canberra, and is a Research Associate of the Language in the Workplace Project, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He has published on populist political discourse in New Zealand and has looked at language use in the workplace and parliamentary contexts. His areas of interest include interactional sociolinguistics, pragmatics, cognitive linguistics and theories of discourse.

Bibliographic information

Reviews

“Giving voters their voice, Woodhams’ interview-based study offers a richly inflected portrayal of political identity in New Zealand. At once fluid and stable, these voices nuance the meanings of political tenets such as egalitarianism and its converse, the ‘tall poppy’. Woodhams’ approach through critical realism is a refreshing counterpoint to the hyper-constructivism of some contemporary discourse analysis.” (Allan Bell, Professor of Language and Communication, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand)

“In Political Identity in Discourse: The Voices of New Zealand Voters, Jay Woodhams provides a meticulous, rigorous and careful account of everyday political talk. At a time when politics is increasingly focused on ‘the people’, the emphasis on ordinary voters – rather than politicians or elites – is refreshing but also timely. This is important reading for anyone interested in “bottom-up” approaches to analysing political discourse.” (Sam Browse, Senior Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University, UK)