Conversation and Genre Analysis of a Political News Debate

Mark Graham Sample


The author uses spoken discourse taken from a live television political news debate to reveal the techniques and strategies used by three interlocutors as they attempt to achieve their goals and agendas. Frameworks from the fields of conversation analysis (henceforth CA) and genre analysis are used to analyse the data. The data show how the interaction starts within the constraints of a television news interview before becoming combative as the interlocutors jostle to achieve their personal goals and agendas. The paper also notes audience involvement and who the interlocutors are addressing during their turns.

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