Turning the Tables:Antisemitic Discourse in Post-War Austria

Wodak, Ruth (1991) Turning the Tables:Antisemitic Discourse in Post-War Austria. Discourse & Society, 2 (1). pp. 65-83. ISSN 0957-9265

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This paper examines the mechanisms for the constitution and transport of anti-Jewish prejudice in public and private discourse in contemporary Austria. Of particular relevance for the analysis is the influence which contextual factors (such as setting, speaker(s), presence or absence of Jews, role of the moderator in televised discussions, prominence of the speakers, emotionality, discussion topics, etc.) may or may not have had. For this analysis it was thus necessary to develop and apply a new methodology and new categories, which incorporated a discursive-historical approach, inter-disciplinary theory formation and the connexus of textlinguistic, psychological and historical conceptions. The results of the analysis show that expressions of antisemitic prejudice as such abounded, but that the explicitness and directness of the prejudices expressed varied markedly according to context. During televised discussions, for example, the various forms of antisemitism were embedded in strategies of positive self-promotion and/or cultivation of one's image. In a series of spontaneous, semi-public discussions (which retained what might be called a conditional anonymity), however, whatever hindrances or inhibitions which seem to have been present in the televised discussions all but vanished. An example from a news programme on the 25 March 1986 will illustrate the major claims and methodology.

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Discourse & Society
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25 Jul 2023 13:50
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16 Sep 2023 02:43