Manipulating information and manipulating : examples from the 2004 Portuguese Parliamentary celebration of the April revolution

2014-11-04T15:20:21Z (GMT) by Michael Billig Cristina Marinho
Recently there has been interest in examining how language is involved in the phenomenon of 'manipulation'. This paper suggests that investigators, rather than treating 'manipulation' as an entity, should examine how communicators might engage in discursive acts of manipulating. To this end a distinction is made between manipulating information and manipulating people. Examples of both types, taken from the Portuguese Parliamentary Celebration of the April Revolution of 2004, are examined in depth to show how acts of manipulating can be performed in different ways. By focussing on acts, we show that supposed 'cognitive control' over the audience's minds is not necessarily involved in manipulating; it is shown how investigators can provide evidence that manipulators act 'knowingly' when they mislead. We argue that the study of manipulating, and the distinction between manipulating information and people, provides a critical approach to the topic of political oratory. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.