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Waterton, Emma and Wilson, Ross (2009) Talking the talk: policy, popular and media responses to the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade using the `abolition discourse'. Discourse & Society, 20 (3). pp. 381-399. ISSN 0957-9265

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Abstract

The issue of slavery has received wide public and media attention in response to the bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act of 1807. In this context, admissions of guilt and apology are potent and confronting as they threaten to disrupt the collective self-understanding of Britain and Empire. As such, the silenced narrative of minority groups has found no place within the British cultural semantics for remembering Abolition. This paper will examine the rhetorical resources drawn upon in policy, media and public discourses to understand and soothe the traumatic history of the exploitation of African people, and uses critical discourse analysis to do so. The result, it will be argued, is a way of talking about the transatlantic slave trade which we have labelled the ‘abolition discourse’. The data used emerges from formal institutional talk (parliamentary debates and political speeches), media reporting and everyday talk (observed through a range of computer-mediated communication forums).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: critical discourse analysis; 1807 Commemorated; slavery; multiculturalism; the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act of 1807; Abolition Discourse
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races > HT1501 Races
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races > HT601 Classes > HT851 Slavery
Divisions: Departments > History
Depositing User: Debbie Bogard
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2013 13:21
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2015 12:40
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/471

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