7. “That's What You Think”: Arguing Representations of Truth in Language
Published Online: 16 JAN 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Political Oratory and Cartooning: An Ethnography of Democratic Processes in Madagascar
How to Cite
Jackson, J. (2012) “That's What You Think”: Arguing Representations of Truth in Language, in Political Oratory and Cartooning: An Ethnography of Democratic Processes in Madagascar, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118306185.ch7
- Published Online: 16 JAN 2013
- Published Print: 27 DEC 2012
Print ISBN: 9781118306062
Online ISBN: 9781118306185
- moral truth;
- political cartoons;
- urban Imerina
Speakers and auditors argue representations of truth by way of how language best performs “transparency” and “corruption.” This metalinguistic process of talking about what language does plays a role in shaping what “democracy” means and how it is linguistically mediated in urban Imerina. Kabary politika is governed by dialogical principles of power and authority, which shape and reflect a candidate's speech and the ways his audience reacts. Discourse about the contextual organization of kabary metapragmatically recalibrates the presupposed context of speech as metonymic of the relationship between the state and the people. Recontextualizing the impressions politicians attempt to create, cartoonists reveal their failures, blurring the line between the person and the political role. As politicians change the way they speak to fit with ways of government, and audiences accept the change as a move toward modernity, they dismantle the salience of traditional kabary forms.