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Facts as social action in political debates about the European Union

Demasi, Mirko ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1112-8141 (2019) Facts as social action in political debates about the European Union. Political Psychology, 40 (1). pp. 3-20.

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Abstract

This paper focuses on the argumentative role of making factual claims and counterclaims in broadcast political debates. Despite the rise of “post-truth politics”, this paper argues that orientations to issues of ‘fact’ and ‘truth’ are a live and controversial matter when debating the European Union. Using Discursive Psychology (DP) the analysis is on how politicians use fact-based (counter)claims in multi-party interactions, in the form of debates about the UK and the European Union. Three types of factual challenges are presented to illustrate the rhetorical function of claims: challenging the essence of an argument, providing another fact to re-contextualise the preceding fact and using hypothetical scenarios to undermine facts. The analysis demonstrates that the use of facts is a highly strategic, argumentative, matter. This study, understood against a backdrop of the rise of “post-truth politics”, highlights that concepts of ‘fact’ and ‘truth’ are not done away with; rather they are an argumentative resource and need to be understood in their fragmentary and rhetorical context.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: "This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Demasi, Mirko (2018) Facts as social action in political debates about the European Union. Political Psychology which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/pops.12496 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving."
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12496
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Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
School/Department: School of Psychological & Social Sciences
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/3114

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