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The audience as actor: the participation status of the audience at the victim hearings of the South African TRC

(2009) DISCOURSE STUDIES. 11(4). p.441-463
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Abstract
In this article Goffman's theories on participation framework and change in footing are applied to discursive material from the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The main finding is that a discursive setting such as the public hearings of a truth and reconciliation commission can be highly intricate and layered when considering the role of the various discourse participants. The testifying victims, the TRC commissioners and the audience engaged in various forms of subordinate communication - byplay, crossplay and sideplay - in addition to the standardized and expected interaction between victims and commissioners. This tells us that face-to-face talk should not be regarded as the prototypical participation framework, even not in a highly stage-managed discursive setting. Moreover, by paying attention to the co-presence of also a 'virtual' audience, the Goffmanian framework is taken beyond its confines of only discussing interaction between discourse participants who are physically present in a speech situation. In the end, each of the discourse participants tried to exploit the possibilities offered by this complex framework, thus adding to the impact the TRC had on South African society at large.
Keywords
audience, apartheid victims, footing, Goffman, participation framework, public hearings

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MLA
Verdoolaege, Annelies. “The Audience as Actor: The Participation Status of the Audience at the Victim Hearings of the South African TRC.” DISCOURSE STUDIES 11.4 (2009): 441–463. Print.
APA
Verdoolaege, A. (2009). The audience as actor: the participation status of the audience at the victim hearings of the South African TRC. DISCOURSE STUDIES, 11(4), 441–463.
Chicago author-date
Verdoolaege, Annelies. 2009. “The Audience as Actor: The Participation Status of the Audience at the Victim Hearings of the South African TRC.” Discourse Studies 11 (4): 441–463.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Verdoolaege, Annelies. 2009. “The Audience as Actor: The Participation Status of the Audience at the Victim Hearings of the South African TRC.” Discourse Studies 11 (4): 441–463.
Vancouver
1.
Verdoolaege A. The audience as actor: the participation status of the audience at the victim hearings of the South African TRC. DISCOURSE STUDIES. 2009;11(4):441–63.
IEEE
[1]
A. Verdoolaege, “The audience as actor: the participation status of the audience at the victim hearings of the South African TRC,” DISCOURSE STUDIES, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 441–463, 2009.
@article{751217,
  abstract     = {{In this article Goffman's theories on participation framework and change in footing are applied to discursive material from the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The main finding is that a discursive setting such as the public hearings of a truth and reconciliation commission can be highly intricate and layered when considering the role of the various discourse participants. The testifying victims, the TRC commissioners and the audience engaged in various forms of subordinate communication - byplay, crossplay and sideplay - in addition to the standardized and expected interaction between victims and commissioners. This tells us that face-to-face talk should not be regarded as the prototypical participation framework, even not in a highly stage-managed discursive setting. Moreover, by paying attention to the co-presence of also a 'virtual' audience, the Goffmanian framework is taken beyond its confines of only discussing interaction between discourse participants who are physically present in a speech situation. In the end, each of the discourse participants tried to exploit the possibilities offered by this complex framework, thus adding to the impact the TRC had on South African society at large.}},
  author       = {{Verdoolaege, Annelies}},
  issn         = {{1461-4456}},
  journal      = {{DISCOURSE STUDIES}},
  keywords     = {{audience,apartheid victims,footing,Goffman,participation framework,public hearings}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{4}},
  pages        = {{441--463}},
  title        = {{The audience as actor: the participation status of the audience at the victim hearings of the South African TRC}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1461445609105219}},
  volume       = {{11}},
  year         = {{2009}},
}

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