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Duelling discourses, shared weapons: rhetorical techniques used to challenge racist arguments

Fozdar, F. (2008) Duelling discourses, shared weapons: rhetorical techniques used to challenge racist arguments. Discourse & Society, 19 (4). pp. 529-547.

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Racism and anti-racism can be seen as duelling discourses which constantly cross-reference each other. Using interview data from interviews with working-class Maori and Pakeha, this article analyses the ways in which anti-racism expressed by ordinary New Zealanders engages directly with dominant racist discourses. The article explores some of the themes and linguistic devices identified in Wetherell and Potter's classic analysis of middle-class racism in New Zealand, arguing that counterhegemonic discourses challenging these themes are alive and well, and being used to resist racism at a grass-roots level. It specifically analyses challenges to the notions that resources should be used productively; that Maori should appreciate that they are much better off than other indigenous people; that there are legitimate and illegitimate ways of protesting; and that present generations are not responsible for mistakes of the past. It argues that many of the same rhetorical devices utilized in racist talk are also found in the articulation of these arguments, indicating that common linguistic resources are the shared weaponry through which an ideological battle about rights and discrimination is being waged.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Copyright: © 2008 Sage Publication.
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