Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Launching a protest movement implies the establishment of a self-categorisation that sets forth the terms of its membership and its political aims from within. Claiming all members’ to collective legalisation, immigrants without residence/working permits have constituted the “sans-papiers”/“undocumented” category to counter other-categorisations, such as “illegal immigrants” and “clandestine”, which associate the designated population with illegality, and to apply pressure for political change. This paper offers detailed analyses of the ways members of a protest movement (2001, Fribourg, Switzerland) established and used the “sans-papiers” category as official speakers during press conferences. It shows on the one hand speakers’ ingenious deployment of resources offered by the press conference format for doing protest. On the other hand, it reveals speakers’ transforming categorial work that indexes inherent tensions that the setting-up of a “revolutionary category” might imply for its members when confronted to politico-institutional challenges engendered by their protest.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Akin, Salih
    1999 “Sans-papiers: une dénomination dans cinq quotidiens nationaux de mars à août 1996 [Undocumented: A denomination in five national newspapers from March to August 1996].” Mots60: 59–75. doi: 10.3406/mots.1999.2164
    https://doi.org/10.3406/mots.1999.2164 [Google Scholar]
  2. 2000 “La construction identitaire dans le discours des sans-papiers [The identity construction in the discourse of undocumented].” Ecarts d’identité93: 20–24.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. 2004 “Le fonctionnement médiatif de la préposition sans [The mediating function of the preposition without].” Publications de l’Université de Rouen1: 207–216.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Atkinson, John M.
    1984Our Masters’ Voices: The Language and Body Language of Politics. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Bhatia, Aditi
    2006 “Critical Discourse Analysis of Political Press Conferences.” Discourse & Society17 (2): 173–203. doi: 10.1177/0957926506058057
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926506058057 [Google Scholar]
  6. Bonnafous, Simone
    1999 “La médiatisation de la question immigrée: état des recherches [The mediatisation of the immigrant’s issue: state of the art].” Etudes de communication22: 59–72. doi: 10.4000/edc.2344
    https://doi.org/10.4000/edc.2344 [Google Scholar]
  7. Clayman, Steven E.
    2002 “Disagreements and Third Parties: Dilemmas of Neutralism in Panel News Interviews.” Journal of Pragmatics34: 1385–1401. doi: 10.1016/S0378‑2166(02)00070‑X
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(02)00070-X [Google Scholar]
  8. Clayman, Steven E. , Marc N. Elliott , John Heritage , and Laurie McDonald
    2006 “Historical Trends in Questioning Presidents 1953–2000.” Presidential Studies Quarterly36 (4): 561–583. doi: 10.1111/j.1741‑5705.2006.02568.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-5705.2006.02568.x [Google Scholar]
  9. Clayman, Steven E. , John Heritage
    2002 “Questioning Presidents: Journalistic Deference and Adversarialness in the Press Conferences of U.S. Presidents Eisenhower and Reagan.” Journal of Communication52: 749–775. doi: 10.1111/j.1460‑2466.2002.tb02572.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2002.tb02572.x [Google Scholar]
  10. EKM, Eidgenössische Kommission für Migrationsfragen
    EKM, Eidgenössische Kommission für Migrationsfragen 2001Sans-Papiers in der Schweiz [Undocumented in Switzerland]. Bern: BBL.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Fitzgerald, Richard , and William Housley
    2002 “Identity, Categorization and Sequential Organization: The Sequential and Categorial Flow of Identity in a Radio Phone-in.” Discourse & Society13 (5): 679–602. doi: 10.1177/0957926502013005275
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926502013005275 [Google Scholar]
  12. Goffman, Erving
    1981Forms of Talk. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Heritage, John , and David Greatbatch
    1986 “Generating Applause: A Study of Rhetoric and Response at Party Political Conferences.” American Journal of Sociology92 (1): 110–157. doi: 10.1086/228465
    https://doi.org/10.1086/228465 [Google Scholar]
  14. Heritage, John , and Rod Watson
    1979 “Formulations As Conversational Objects.” In Everyday Language: Studies in Ethnomethodology, ed. by George Psathas , 123–162. New-York: Irvington.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Jefferson, Gail
    2004 “Glossary of Transcript Symbols with an Introduction.” In Conversation Analysis: Studies from the First Generation, ed. by Gene H. Lerner , 13–31. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.125.02jef
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.125.02jef [Google Scholar]
  16. Knoll, Alex , Sarah Schilliger , and Bea Schwager
    2012Wisch und Weg! Sans-Papiers-Hausarbeiterinnen zwischen Prekarität und Selbstbestimmung [Wipe and away! Undocumented house workers between insecurity and self-determination]. Zürich: Seismo.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Mondada, Lorenza
    2007 “Multimodal Resources for Turn-Taking: Pointing and the Emergence of Possible Next Speakers.” Discourse Studies9 (2): 194–225. doi: 10.1177/1461445607075346
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445607075346 [Google Scholar]
  18. Nicholls, Walter J.
    2012 “Voice and Power in the Immigrant Rights Movement: The Case of the Undocumented Student Movement.” In Constructing Immigrant "Illegality" Critiques, Experiences and Responses, ed. by Cecilia Menjivar and Daniel Kanstroom , 225–245. New York: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Niklaus, Pierre-Alain
    2013Nicht gerufen und doch gefragt [Not called but nonetheless required]. Basel: Lenos.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Quassoli, Fabio
    2013 “‘Clandestino’ Institutional Discourses and Practices for the Control and Exclusion of Migrants in Contemporary Italy.” Journal of Language and Politics12 (2): 203–225. doi: 10.1075/jlp.12.2.03qua
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.12.2.03qua [Google Scholar]
  21. Sacks, Harvey
    1972 “An Initial Investigation of the Usability of Conversational Data for Doing Sociology.” In Studies in Social Interaction, ed. by David Sudnow , 31–74. New York: The Free Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. 1992Lectures on Conversation, ed. by Gail Jefferson . Vol.I + II. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Schegloff, Emanuel A.
    1987 “Between Micro and Macro: Contexts and Other Connections.” In The Micro-Macro Link, ed. by Jeffrey Alexander , Bernhard Giesen , Richard Munch , and Neil J. Smelser , 207–234. Berkeley: University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error