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The Discursive Construction of Blame

The Language of Public Inquiries

Authors: Murphy, James

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  • Demonstrates how blame pervades the discourse of the participants at public inquiries
  • Suggests that blame is a healthy and natural part of public life
  • Provides a much-needed linguistic analysis of blame
  • Argues that whilst the establishment of a blame culture can have negative effects, these are not outweighed by the importance of accountability in civic life
  • Uses traditional text linguistic methods, as well as corpus linguistic methods to explore lexical semantics, presupposition, conversational implicature, the notion of the speech act and activity types
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eBook $49.99
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-50722-8
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  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $63.00
price for Brazil
  • ISBN 978-1-137-50721-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book examines the language of public inquiries to reveal how blame is assigned, avoided, negotiated and discussed in this quasi-legal setting. In doing so, the author adds a much-needed linguistic perspective to the study of blame – previously the reserve of moral philosophers, sociologists and psychologists – at a time when public inquiries are being convened with increasing frequency. While the stated purpose of a public inquiry is rarely to apportion blame, this work reveals how blame is nevertheless woven into the fabric of the activity and how it is constructed by the language of the participants. Its chapters systematically analyse the establishment of inquiries, their questioning patterns, how blame can be avoided by witnesses, how blame is assigned or not by an inquiry’s panel and how such blame may result in public apologies. The author concludes with an engaging discussion on the value of public inquiries in civic life and suggestions for changes to the processes of public inquiries. This book will appeal to readers with a general interest in public and political language; in addition to scholars across the disciplines of communication, media studies, politics, sociology, social policy, philosophy, psychology, linguistics, rhetoric, public relations and public affairs.



About the authors

James Murphy is Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $49.99
price for Brazil (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-50722-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $63.00
price for Brazil
  • ISBN 978-1-137-50721-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Discursive Construction of Blame
Book Subtitle
The Language of Public Inquiries
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-50722-8
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-50722-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-50721-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 310
Number of Illustrations
8 b/w illustrations
Topics