Small stories in political discourse

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This contribution examines the form and function of small stories in monologic and dialogic political discourse. It focuses on the interface between private and public spheres of life, investigating the traditional conception of politics as public-domain anchored and that of a small story as set in the private sphere. Particular attention is given to interpersonal aspects of communication, especially to the reconstruction of common ground. The paper is organized as follows:The first part examines the form of small stories from a local-context perspective as embedded sequences taking into account setting, sequential organization, characters and voice, and evaluation. The second part analyses their function. It adapts a globally oriented perspective, examining the question of what makes a stretch of discourse count as a small story. Adapting the Gricean framework, small stories are assigned the status of a communicative contribution, and their contextualization is accounted for accordingly.In political discourse, narratives and small stories allow the politician to construct existential coherence across different genres, contexts and spheres of life.


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