Press representations of successful public apologies in Britain and France

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Public apologies are one of the most prominent examples of migration of a speech act from the private to the public sphere and are now used in a range of public settings. Considering the role of public apology processes and the near absence of research into their presence in the media, studies targeting media representations of public apologies are particularly timely. This paper investigates press representations of successful public apologies: over 250 apology press uptakes (i.e. reactions to public apologies in the press) were examined. They were taken from popular and/or quality British and French newspapers. The aim is to explore the conditions of success (felicity) of public apologies, as represented in two different media cultures, and to propose a model capable of accounting for the overt conditions of success assigned to public apology speech acts in the texts under scrutiny. For this purpose the analysis focused on explicitly evaluative metapragmatic comments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-50
Number of pages13
JournalLanguage Studies Working Papers
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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