This article examines how politicians have applied evaluative-descriptive terms as rhetorical levers to a pivotal basic concept, illustrating the broader rhetorical strategy of dissociation identified by Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca. It focuses on political debates around capitalism that took place in late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century British politics, including the period following the financial crisis of 2008. Drawing on data from the Enhanced Hansard Corpus and Hansard Online, together with other contemporary texts, it combines quantitative and qualitative analyses using a corpus-based approach to identify salient items that are then placed in their discursive and sociopolitical contexts. More generally, the article seeks to bridge part of the gap between Koselleckian Begriff sgeschichte and Quentin Skinner’s rhetorical approach by applying what is in effect a historical-pragmatic approach to the history of political concepts.
Political Rhetoric around Capitalism in Britain from the 1970s to the Present
Teenage female personal bloggers in Norway occupy the top positions in national blog rankings. This takes girl-bloggers to a place where they have rarely, if ever, been before: a place with massive audiences and media attention that can bring about celebrity status or financial benefits. Operating within a genre of personal blogging that combines accounts of everyday life and topics related to fashion and beauty, they are commonly referred to as pink bloggers. This gendered term is widely used in the media and this article argues that it contributes to a reinforcement of a negative image of teenage female personal bloggers, who are dismissed as trivial, commercial and irresponsible. This article analyzes prevailing discursive representations of the so-called pink bloggers in the mainstream press coverage: popular but insignificant, trendsetting but irresponsible, savvy but vulnerable. The implications of these representations are discussed as well.
France has become a worldwide champion of antiglobalization. France is home to José Bové—sheepfarmer turned McDonalds’ wrecker and, in the process, world famous antiglobalization activist. France is also home to ATTAC, a vocal organization originally designed to promote the so-called “Tobin tax” on financial transactions, but which has since become a powerful antiglobalization lobby present in over 30 countries. France is a country where intellectuals have long denounced the cultural and economic shortcomings of US-led globalization, and where newspapers and other media outlets have endlessly documented how France was threatened by foreign entertainment, customs and values. In short, criticizing globalization “sells” in France. French politicians have understood and embraced this trend. On the Left as on the Right, for the past few years, political figures have loaded their speeches with rhetoric critical of a phenomenon that gets a lot less attention in other European countries and in the United States.
The Social Imaginary in Balzac's 'La Cousine Bette'
The first character introduced to the reader at the start of Balzac’s La Cousine Bette (1846) is Célestin Crevel, described in the opening sentence as “a fat man of average height wearing the uniform of a captain of the National Guard.”1 Exuding the smugness of commercial success and flaunting the ribbon of the Légion d’honneur, Crevel is on his way to visit a woman he has long secretly desired, Baroness Adeline Hulot d’Evry. Beautiful, middle-aged, and married, the Baroness is in financial trouble and seeks the help of the very rich Crevel to whom she is related by the marriage of her son Victorin to the widower Crevel’s only daughter, Célestine.
In the United States, the expression “affirmative action” generally refers to a wide array of measures set up at the end of the 1960s by executive agencies and the federal judiciary. These measures grant some (more or less flexible) kind of preferential treatment in the allocation of scarce resources—jobs, university admissions and government contracts—to the members of groups formerly targeted for legal discrimination (African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, women, sometimes Asians).1 In France, by contrast, the main operational criterion for identifying the beneficiaries of affirmative action policies (in French, “discrimination positive”) is not race or gender,2 but geographical location: residents of a socioeconomically disadvantaged area will indirectly benefit from the additional input of financial resources allocated by state agencies to that area as a whole.
Kinship, Microfinance, and Mortuary Practice on the Paraguayan Frontier
Caroline E. Schuster
Microcredit loans—most famously systems of group-based borrowing—are a key tool in global economic development frameworks. Building outward from microcredit programs in Paraguay, I explore the discontinuous materialities of both kin- and debt-based obligations, especially at their intersection. I argue that borrowers feel the life span of debts most acutely when mortuary practices anchored in kinship ties are bound up with the task of taking on the financial obligations of the dead. This analysis shows how the bonds between kinship, death, and indebtedness go beyond analogy, for collective debt is not ‘like’ a kinship relationship. Instead, microcredit social collateral provides a means for people to deal with the broader issues affecting the life span of individuals, objects, and commitments, as well as the human stakes involved with obligation.
Familialism and the National Revolution in 1940s Morocco
Margaret Cook Anderson
This article explores the influence of Vichy’s National Revolution in the empire by looking at the establishment of the Office de la Famille Française (FFO) in Morocco in 1941. The purpose of the FFO was to develop reforms aimed at assisting French families and increasing the French settler birthrate. The Residency, in consultation with settler familialist organizations, created this administrative body in the hopes that it would encourage French population growth, something they considered to be essential to the preservation of French interests in the protectorate. The FFO dispensed a variety of financial benefits to French families including birth incentives and marriage loans. All French citizens were obligated to join the FFO, thereby making the colony’s French children a collective responsibility.. Those who lacked sufficient numbers of qualifying French children were required to pay the familial compensation tax to help fund the FFO and in this way support other French families.
Preferences in Spouse Selection among Parents in a Hasidic Community
Sima Zalcberg Block
This article examines the considerations that guide parents in an extreme Hasidic community with regard to mate selection for their children. Findings of the study indicate that an appreciable number of factors deal with personal aspects of a prospective match, such as age, external appearance, intellectual abilities, and genetic compatibility, while some concern the family of an intended match, for example, the family's financial status, lineage, and general history of health. Conspicuous by its absence is any consideration of the compatibility of the couple themselves. Gender differences are significant in relation to the importance of the different variables. The study findings reflect the prevalent attitude in ultra-Orthodox society that sees marriage for the most part as a contractual agreement between families, demonstrating that this is, in effect, a barter system between two parties—the families of the projected couple.
A Critical Review of the International Development of Voluntary Biodiversity Offsets
This article analyzes the international development of voluntary biodiversity offsets, a conservation instrument that permits developers to pursue their activities if conservation actions are undertaken elsewhere to compensate for the environmental impacts of their projects. Largely undertaken by extractive industries that operate in the global South where no offsetting regulations exist, this tool is currently attracting growing interest from policy makers, private companies, financial institutions, and conservation experts. Building upon the concept of market framing developed by Callon (1998), I explore in what contexts and through what processes this idea has gathered momentum, as well as the disturbing gap between the way it has been framed and its practical implementation. It is suggested that once immersed in the outside world, the market framing of offsets appears as a fragile result dependent upon substantial investments, which casts serious doubts about offsets' ability to reduce biodiversity loss on technical, governance, and social grounds.
Not once during the campaign—or actually over the whole course of the
seventeenth Bundestag (2009-2013)—was it ever really in doubt that Angela
Merkel would continue as chancellor after the 22 September 2013 parliamentary
election. Despite the vicissitudes of governing for eight years, most
in the midst of the financial and Euro crisis, she has achieved and sustained
some of the highest approval ratings of any postwar German politician. Voters
trust Merkel as a good manager of the economy and an honest steward
and defender of German interests in Europe. Her carefully cultivated image
as a steady, reassuring, and incorruptible leader, coupled with her political
acumen, ideological flexibility and, at times, ruthlessness—captured in the
dueling monikers of Mutti Merkel and Merkelavelli1—are the keys to her