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ANALYSIS OF THE POLITICAL LANGUAGE

CODE 57459
ACADEMIC YEAR 2022/2023
CREDITS
  • 6 cfu during the 2nd year of 8769 INFORMAZIONE ED EDITORIA (LM-19) - GENOVA
  • 6 cfu during the 1st year of 8465 METODOLOGIE FILOSOFICHE (LM-78) - GENOVA
  • SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR SPS/01
    LANGUAGE Italian
    TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
  • SEMESTER 2° Semester
    TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

    OVERVIEW

    This course will analyze the main forms and functions of political language: ideological function, communication aiming at persuasion, and communication aiming at finding common norms of justice. In the last part of the course we will analyze some exemplary speeches of political leaders. 

    AIMS AND CONTENT

    LEARNING OUTCOMES

    The course aims at providing students with conceptual and applicative tools to analyse political language in the light of recent technological and communicative transformations. By the end of the course, students will have acquired an awareness of the main theories concerning political language, will have analysed in detail some political speeches representative of different approaches (through interactive lessons and exercises) and will have learned the basics of the debate on public reason.

    AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

    Besides outlining the main models to understand political language, the course will also provide the conceptual tools to assess the validity of political debates, also appealing to the idea of public reason. In the last part of the course these conceptual instruments will be applied to some important cases of political discourses to assess their congruence and validity with respect to the criteria studied during the course.

    At the end of the course each student will

    • know the main theories in the analysis of political language
    • be familiar with the main concepts and tools of rhetoric
    • be capable of autonomously and critically analyzing the speech of a political leader
    • be capable of establishing a relation between the reality of political speeches with the demands of public reason.

    TEACHING METHODS

    Lectures in the first and second part, students’ seminars in the third part. In the first part, the course will provide the main conceptual tools to analyze political language, in the second part the course will deal with the philosophical theories of public reason and public debate. In the third part, the conceptual tools of the first two parts will be employed by the students to analyze, understand and deconstruct the structure and content of the proposed politicians’ speeches.

     

    SYLLABUS/CONTENT

    The course will be divided in three parts. The first part will deal with the main theories of political language and with the outline of its three main functions (expression of one's identity, persuasion, agreement on common rules of justice).

    • Theories of political language between political theory and linguistics
    • Rhetoric and fallacies
    • Populism, social media and experts

    The second part will address the two main theories (by Habermas and Rawls) that propose a robust understanding of the third function of political language.

    • Habermas’ theory of communicative action
    • Rawls: theory of justice, pluralism and public reason

    The third part of the course will be mainly seminar-based and will concern some important discourses of political actors. Possible speeches – to be agreed upon with the students – by Berlusconi, Grillo, Iotti, Mussolini, Obama, Renzi, Trump. 

    RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

    READING LIST FOR ATTENDING STUDENTS

    • G. Cosenza, Semiotica e comunicazione politica, Laterza, 2018, chap. 1-4, 7-8
    • D. Palano, Bubble democracy. La fine del pubblico e la nuova polarizzazione, Morcelliana, 2020, chap. 2-3

    One among the following options

    • Maffettone, Introduzione a Rawls, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2010, pp. 92-137. (Consigliata però la lettura anche del volume da inizio a p. 91)
    • Petrucciani, Introduzione a Habermas, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2000, pp. 68-105, 133-139 (It is advisable to read also the first part of the volume until p. 68)

     READING LIST FOR NON-ATTENDING STUDENTS

    • G. Cosenza, Semiotica e comunicazione politica, Laterza, 2018, capp. 1-4, 7-8
    • D. Palano, Bubble democracy. La fine del pubblico e la nuova polarizzazione, Morcelliana, 2020, chap 2-3
    • Maffettone, Introduzione a Rawls, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2010, pp. 92-137. (It is advisable to read also the first part of the volume until p. 91)
    • Petrucciani, Introduzione a Habermas, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2000, pp. 68-105, 133-139 (It is advisable to read also the first part of the volume until p. 68)

     

    The reading list might change before the course begins. 

    TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

    Exam Board

    FEDERICO ZUOLO (President)

    VALERIA OTTONELLI

    CORRADO FUMAGALLI (Substitute)

    LESSONS

    LESSONS START

    15 february 2023

    Class schedule

    All class schedules are posted on the EasyAcademy portal.

    EXAMS

    EXAM DESCRIPTION

    Oral exam. Seminars (for those who attend the classes) will count as half of the final mark. Students who cannot attend the classes will be assigned an additional reading.

    ASSESSMENT METHODS

    Oral exam will test the students’ capacity to critically understand politicians’ speeches through the lens of the conceptual tools of the first part of the course. Besides clarity in exposition and mastery of the theories analyzed during the course, the oral exam will test the students’ capacity to autonomously and creatively deal with new examples provided by current and past political communication.

    Exam schedule

    Date Time Location Type Notes
    12/12/2022 12:00 GENOVA Orale
    10/01/2023 12:00 GENOVA Orale
    24/01/2023 12:00 GENOVA Orale
    31/05/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
    13/06/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
    04/07/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
    04/09/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale