'…A 40-Year-Old Black Man Made the Point to Me':Anecdotes, Everyday Knowledge and the Performance of Leadership in British Politics

Atkins, Judi and Finlayson, Alan (2013). '…A 40-Year-Old Black Man Made the Point to Me':Anecdotes, Everyday Knowledge and the Performance of Leadership in British Politics. Political Studies, 61 (1), pp. 161-177.

Abstract

In this article we demonstrate the application of Rhetorical Political Analysis in the study of political communication and political ideas and ideologies. Taking the rhetorical use of anecdotes as a case study, we find that their use by mainstream party leaders in Britain has proliferated markedly since the mid-1990s. Drawing on examples from speeches by leaders of all three main parties, we show how these stories are employed as a form of argumentative proof that significantly relies on the elevation of “everyday” experience and knowledge above expert or technical knowledge. We argue that this reflects a more general “valorisation of lay knowledge” and, moreover, that it is indicative of a form of populist ideology.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9248.2012.00953.x
Divisions: Languages & Social Sciences
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Atkins, J. and Finlayson, A. (2013), ‘... A 40‐Year‐Old Black Man Made the Point to Me’: Everyday Knowledge and the Performance of Leadership in Contemporary British Politics. Political Studies, 61: 161-177, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9248.2012.00953.x.  This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
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Related URLs: https://onlinel ... 48.2012.00953.x (Publisher URL)
Published Date: 2013-03
Authors: Atkins, Judi ( 0000-0002-7391-4685)
Finlayson, Alan

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