Positioning and Stance in Political Discourse: The Individual, the Party, and the Party Line

Lawrence Norman Berlin (Ed.)

by Maria Alejandra Prieto-Mendoza (University of Illinois at Chicago), Chi-Hé Elder (University of East Anglia), Ana Maria Tramunt Ibaños (Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil), Nanashara Fagundes Behle (Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil), Yuri Penz (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil), Jacob Ausderan (Barry University), Alejandro Parini (Universidad de Belgrano, Argentina), Luisa Granato (Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina), Victoria Martín de la Rosa (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain), Elena Domínguez Romero (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain), María Pérez Blanco (Universidad de León, Spain), Juana I. Marín-Arrese (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain)

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Within the political sphere, a political actor is often judged by what he or she says, with their verbal performance often perceived as representative of the individual. Hearers accept that, as individuals, they possess a lifetime of experiences and actions which inform, but may also undermine, their aspirations in gaining political capital. Additionally, as representatives of a political party and its ideology, these actors do not exist in isolation; they are members and, at times, potential candidates of a particular party with its own agenda which may, in turn, cause them to modify their personal speech to align with espoused policies of the party.

The various contributions contained in this volume examine the discourse of political actors through the lenses of positionality and stance. Throughout its chapters, clearly defined theoretical perspectives and specified social practices are employed, enabling the authors to elucidate how political actors can situate themselves, their party, and their opponents toward their ostensive public. This book successfully demonstrates how espoused perspectives relate to, or reflect on, the nature of the individual political actor and their truth, the party they represent and its ideology, and the pandering to popular public opinion to gain support and co-operation.

This book will hold particular appeal for postgraduate students, researchers, and scholars of discourse studies, pragmatics, political science, as well as other areas in humanities and the social sciences.

Table of Tables

Table of Figures

Lawrence N. Berlin
Universidad EAFIT, Medellín, Colombia

Chapter 1 The Positioning of Post-Truth Politics: Claims and Evidence in the 2016 US Presidential Debates
Lawrence N. Berlin
Universidad EAFIT, Medellín, Colombia

Chapter 2 Positioning in the Peace Process: The Colombian Peace Dialogues
Maria Alejandra Prieto-Mendoza
University of Illinois at Chicago, United States

Chapter 3 Oh, That’s Just Crazy Talk: How Leaders Use Language to Create Perceptions of Irrationality
Jacob Ausderan
Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida, United States

Chapter 4 Trump vs. Clinton: Implicatures as Public Stance Acts
Chi-Hé Elder
University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom

Chapter 5 Discarding Proper Names as Referring Expression Tweets in the Trump vs. Hillary Debate
Ana Maria Tramunt Ibaños, Nanashara Behle, & Yuri Penz
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brasil

Chapter 6 Stance in Casting the Identity of a New Political Leader: Interviews with the President of Argentina
Alejandro Parini* and Luisa Granato**
*University of Belgrano, Buenos Aires, Argentina
**Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina

Chapter 7 Epistemic and Effective Stance in Political Discourse: The European Refugee Crisis
Victoria Martín de la Rosa*, Elena Domínguez Romero*, María Pérez Blanco**, and Juana I. Marín-Arrese*
*Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
**Universidad de León, Spain


Lawrence N. Berlin is the Academic Director of the Center of Languages at EAFIT University in Medellín, Colombia, and Professor Emeritus in TESOL from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. Having earned a bachelor’s in Drama from New
York University (1984), a master’s in Foreign Language Education from West Virginia University (1996), and his doctorate in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching from the University of Arizona (2000), he has published numerous manuscripts on the teaching of English as a second language, pragmatics, and discourse analysis. He founded the organization, Dialogue Under Occupation, in 2006 and continues to conduct research in political and media discourse, as well as critical pedagogy and participatory approaches to the teaching of languages.

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Positioning and Stance in Political Discourse: The Individual, the Party, and the Party Line





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


12 B&W

Publication date

October 2020