Functional theory and political discourse: Televised debates in Israel and the United States

William L. Benoit*, Tamir Sheafer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study applied functional theory, developed for political campaigns in the United States, to six televised debates in Israel and compared debates in both countries. In both countries, acclaims were the most common function, followed by attacks and then defenses. Policy was addressed more often than character. Incumbent candidates in both countries acclaimed significantly more and attacked less than the challengers. Incumbents used past deeds significantly more often to acclaim - and less to attack - than the challengers. The similarities discovered suggest that candidates for elective political office may employ common discursive practices that transcend national borders.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)281-297
Number of pages17
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
Volume83
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

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