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Mots. Les langages du politique, n°117/2018

Mots. Les langages du politique, n°117/2018

Les « petites phrases »

Mots. Les langages du politique


This dossier aims to study a recent phenomenon that is usually called "soundbites". In the wake of pioneer work on that multifaceted subject, we have opted for a transdisciplinary approach that includes the sciences of language and communication as well as social sciences. Irit Kornblit focuses on the rhetorics and argumentative aspects of the question when he studies the shifting use of "Culture is not a commodity" as soundbite or formula. Éric Treille for his part focuses on how the media and politics frame political discourse into soundbites. His fruitful research field was the televised debates for the French primaries of 2016 and 2017, which shed light on the strategic dimension of soundbites. That strategic dimension is a central concern for Romain Mathieu, who looks at pre-election negotiations between the parties of the French radical left: for political actors, soundbites are efficient as well as fragile ressources, insofar as they depend on media outreach, which politicians cannot control. The following two articles take contrasting approaches to the pejorative dimension of the phrase “soundbite”: Sarah Al-Matary and Chloé Gaboriaux question the supposed impoverishment of political language into soundbites, envisioning the latter in the light of current transformations of political polarization. Annabelle Seoane then adopts an enunciativist and pragmatic approach to investigate the “soundbite” label, which she sees as form of critical distance that devalues the publicized statement while valueing the publicizing media.