Showing and telling in parliamentary discourse: The case of repeated interjections to Rabin's speeches in the Israeli parliament

Shaul R. Shenhav*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The article suggests a theoretical distinction between two types of parliamentary discourse, based on the classic narratological distinction between 'showing' and 'telling'. Based on this distinction, it studies the influence of interjections and heckling on parliamentary discourse, in particular on the speeches Yitzhak Rabin made to the Israeli parliament as Prime Minister from July 1992 until his assassination in November 1995. Using the distinction between showing and telling, the article claims that exaggerated amounts of interjections and heckling are a dangerous formula for the demise of a discourse of telling which would enable the onus of constructing political images and values to be transferred to the listener's mind through the shaping of political narratives. As a result, the function of parliaments as an arena in which political leaders can publicly shape new national narratives in their speeches is significantly damaged.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)223-255
Number of pages33
JournalDiscourse and Society
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008

Keywords

  • Interjections
  • Interruptions
  • Israel
  • Knesset
  • Parliaments
  • Political discourse
  • Showing and telling
  • Yitzhak Rabin

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