Archer & Parry Accepted Manuscript 26.04.2019.pdf (300.74 kB)
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Blame attributions and mitigated confessions: The discursive construction of guilty admissions in celebrity TV confessionals

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journal contribution
posted on 12.06.2019, 08:48 by Wendy Archer, Ruth ParryRuth Parry
Drawing on insights from conversation analysis, discursive psychology and social psychology, this paper describes some interactional features of two celebrity TV confessionals and the resources used by the TV interviewers and celebrity guests to attribute, accept or deny responsibility for their transgressions. The analytic interest lies in how confessions are locally and interactionally managed, i.e. how ‘doing confessing’ is achieved in the television interview context. We show how the host’s opening turn constrains the celebrity guest’s contribution and secures overt admission of guilt, whilst simultaneously inviting the celebrity guest to tell their side of the story. We also show how celebrity guests produce descriptions which minimise the extent and severity of their transgressions, reduce agency and transform the character of their transgression. In doing so, we argue that celebrity interviewees can convey mitigations and extenuations which diminish the extent of their responsibility - calling into question the very nature of their confession. We propose that our findings demonstrate the hybrid nature of interviewing in the celebrity TV confessional and contribute to our understanding of how ‘doing confessing’ in the public eye is discursively and interactionally negotiated.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Discourse and Communication

Volume

13

Issue

5

Pages

591-611

Citation

ARCHER, W. and PARRY, R., 2019. Blame attributions and mitigated confessions: The discursive construction of guilty admissions in celebrity TV confessionals. Discourse and Communication, 13(5), pp. 591-611.

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Discourse and Communication and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/1750481319856204

Acceptance date

26/04/2019

Publication date

2019-09-11

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

1750-4813

Language

en