Facts as social action in political debates about the European Union

Demasi, Mirko (2018) Facts as social action in political debates about the European Union. Political Psychology. (In Press)

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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
Status: In Press
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12496
Related URLs:
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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