New PDF release: Debating Diversity: Analysing the Discourse of Tolerance

By Jan Blommaert

ISBN-10: 0415191386

ISBN-13: 9780415191388

Immigration, racism and nationalism became hotly debated concerns within the Western global. This hugely unique and arguable paintings specializes in the language utilized by the overwhelming majority who regard themselves as being open to a multi-cultural society.Using Belgium as a case examine and drawing parallels with the united kingdom, US, Europe and the previous Yugoslavia, the authors examine this language and show a outstanding consistency among those liberal voices, akin to in news-reporting, and the language utilized by radical racist and nationalist teams.

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Extra info for Debating Diversity: Analysing the Discourse of Tolerance

Sample text

In that capacity, they are associated with democracy, and they are seen as the absolute opposite of authoritatively imposed dogmas. This dichotomy hides the fact that public discourse in democratic societies is not as free and open as it might seem at first sight. In other words, debates are themselves objects (as well as instruments) of control. They are not controlled by just a few individuals. Control, to the extent that it is exerted consciously, requires more cunning than in the case of dogma.

Rarely is there a direct dialogue between majority and minority (with the exception of a number of relatively isolated situations of contact with little direct impact on the public debate). Moreover, it is the majority which clearly determines the shape of group relations; it defines the ‘code’ of interaction. In so far as members of the minority 24 GROUP RELATIONS, COGNITION AND LANGUAGE are tolerated as active participants in the debate, they are also expected to pay lip service to, and echo, the majority views.

Theoretically this may be just a matter of coincidence: the Belgian migrant debate could simply be an extreme case of successful hegemony. Yet, it presents us with a series of analytical questions which deserve further scrutiny because simple associations between hegemonic discourse and mainstream discourse on the one hand, and between counterhegemonic discourse and opposition, dissident or resistance discourse on the other, do not hold. There is resistance discourse galore in the Belgian migrant debate, but it is hard to find any that is genuinely counter-hegemonic in the sense that it would deny or question the fundamental assumptions, ideas and beliefs that characterize the hegemonic version.

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Debating Diversity: Analysing the Discourse of Tolerance by Jan Blommaert


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