‘There will only be lots of chit-chat': How Hamas leaders and media interviewers handle controversial topics



McVittie, Chris and Sambaraju, Rahul and McKinlay, Andy (2011) ‘There will only be lots of chit-chat': How Hamas leaders and media interviewers handle controversial topics. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 44 (1). pp. 92-105. ISSN 0835-1813

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Abstract

This paper examines media interviews with Hamas political leaders conducted between January 2006 and December, 2008, immediately before the outbreak of war in Gaza. The analysis presented here focuses on the role of footing shifts in the posing of challenging questions and their consequential relevance for the exchange that followed in which Hamas leaders attended to interviewers’ challenging questions and provided their own accounts. The results show that interviewers’ footing shifts confer interactional benefits on interviewers and interviewees alike. Such footing shifts allow all participants to construct their discussion as being ‘newsworthy’ in being relevant to a wider audience and allow interviewers to do ‘neutralism’. At the same time, footing shifts that attribute contentious allegations to third parties allow interviewees to criticise the nominated sources. In so doing, initial footing shifts enable discussions of contentious topics to proceed without breakdown.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management > Psychology and Sociology
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2011 11:13
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2014 12:58
URI: http://eresearch.qmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2187

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