Negotiating validity claims in political interviews

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This contribution presents an investigation of the interactional organization of the media event and discourse genre of political interview in the framework of the communicative act of a plus/minus validity claim based on the contextualization of Jürger Habermas's (1987) theory of communicative action. In this setting, political interviews are defined as negotiating validity claims with regard to the first-frame interaction of interviewer and interviewee and the second-frame interaction, which consists of the first frame (interviewer, interviewee) interacting with the media frame. The first section investigates political interviews with regard to their dual status as process and product, and their attribution to media communication. Section 2 discusses the communicative act of a plus/minus validity claim from both micro- and macro-viewpoints. Here special reference is given to the accommodation of genre-specific constraints and requirements. The third section applies the functional grammar concept of markedness to the analysis of discourse genre and investigates the communicative function of explicit references to the media frame, such as television, program(s), the institutional roles of interviewer, interviewee, and audience, and discusses when, where, and how these references are realized and what communicative function(s) they fulfill. Since explicit references to the media frame are generally restricted to the opening section of the interview, any deviation from the standard, routine interview represents a marked variant, in which the first- and second-frame presuppositions are exploited in order to communicate conversationally implicated meaning. In conclusion, the analysis of political interviews requires a dynamic framework which not only accounts for their dual status as both processes and products but also for the constitutive multiframe interactions and multiple discourse identities. © Walter de Gruyter.
Original languageEnglish
JournalText & talk
Volume20
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)415-460
Number of pages46
ISSN1860-7330
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes