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What is a ‘revolution’?: National commemoration, collective memory and managing authenticity in the representation of a political event

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journal contribution
posted on 28.10.2009 by Cristian Tileaga
This article examines the production and management of an ideological representation of a specific political `event': the Romanian `revolution' of 1989. A critical discursive psychological approach to analyzing political discourse is used to examine commemorative addresses in the Romanian parliament. The analysis explores: (a) issues of agency, entitlement and working with regard to actual or possible alternatives; (b) a pattern of recurring categorical incumbency shifts; (c) managing the authenticity and the true nature of the `event' through invoking category-bound knowledge and predicates commonsensically attachable to the notion of `revolution'; and (d) formulating and orienting to the `events of 1989' as `revolution' and `foundational' moment in national history. It is argued that the main ideological function of drawing on such resources is that of framing/ reframing, controlling the various interpretations, public (re)formulations of the Romanian `revolution', disconnecting it from its controversial particulars and delegitimizing criticism. For a political `event' to acquire an `identity', it needs to be cast into a category with associated characteristics or features. The occasioned ideological and political significance of a political `event' lies also in its consequentiality in and for the social and ideological context in which it is invoked.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Citation

TILEAGA, C., 2008. What is a ‘revolution’?: National commemoration, collective memory and managing authenticity in the representation of a political event. Discourse & Society, 19 (3), pp. 359-382

Publisher

© SAGE Publications

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

2008

Notes

This article was published in the journal, Discourse & Society [© SAGE Publications]. The definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0957926508088965

ISSN

0957-9265

Language

en

Exports