Paul Henry: Looking Like a New Zealander


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Paul Henry: Looking Like a New Zealander

  1. 1. Paul Henry: Looking like a New Zealander
  2. 2. Paul Henry's remarks on the Breakfast Show The main concepts: <ul><li>Racist/Culturist Language
  3. 3. Politics and Power </li></ul>Why I chose this group of Discourses <ul><ul><li>These discourses are interesting because they involve public figures, including the Prime Minister. Racism in the media plays a role in maintaining racist discourses, and the portrayal of such prominent figures reactions to raism could be a norm-setting discourse. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Discourse In an interview with the Prime Minister John Key concerning the election of the next Governor General on the Breakfast show: Paul: um its almost time isnt it for you to choose a governor general? John: yeah getting it is what it is we have to choose. because the current governor general sir anand satyanand is his term finishing middle of next year Paul: is he even a new zealander? John: ah yes he's a new zealander Paul: are you gonna choose a New Zealander who looks and sounds like a new zealander this time? John: in fact. well in fact every new ah every governor general since Porritt has been a New Zealand born New Zealander. so which one Paul: yeah so are we gonna go for someone who's more like a New Zealander this time though? See the video at:
  5. 5. Racist/Culturist Language Concepts Stereotypes <ul><li>Bowe and Martin (2007:87-88) identify the following concepts of stereotyping: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The dominant group imposes its ideology on other groups
  6. 6. This creates stereotypes of what the dominant group is like (superior), and what other groups are like (inferior)
  7. 7. Discourse about the group stereotypes maintains those stereotypes
  8. 8. Negative stereotyping = classifying others as the out-group, those who are not part of the in-group. Including other people/groups in an out-group based a few similar characteristics and assuming that they then have all or most of the charactersitics of the assigned out-group is called the 'lumping fallacy'
  9. 9. Positive stereotyping = classifying others as in the same group as yourself. Including other people/groups in your own group based on only a few similar characteristics and assuming that they must have all or most of the characteristics of your group is called the 'solidarity fallacy'. </li></ul></ul>Otherization <ul><li>Placing others in the out-group involves otherisation. Otherisation occurs between individuals and those 'others' who are seen as culturally different. We create our own identity in contrast to cultural differences that we see in them. This leads us to beleive that we are a different kind of person form those 'others'. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Racist/Culturist Language Otherisation <ul><li>Paul Henry does not build on the immigrant stereotype, he instead utilises it to otherise Sir Anand. He trys to label Sir Anand as a non-New Zealander, and then as someone who doesn't look or sound like a New Zelander. The only evidence that is presented for this is Sir Anand's name. Paul Henry commits the 'lumping fallacy', he assume that since Sir Anand has a foreign name he must be an immigrant. Even in the face of evidence of the contrary – John Key says that he was born in New Zealand - he still pursues this hypothesis. Sir Anand looks like an immigrant, so he must have the same stereotypical characteristics. He implies hat Sir Anand does not deserve to belong to the in-group because he is like an immigrant. </li></ul> In-group <ul><li>The in-group is constructed in the context of the interview: New Zealand professional, high-profile public figures. Eg. TV presenter, Prime Minister, Governor General. </li></ul>Out-group <ul><li>Non-New Zealanders and non-New Zealand looking and sounding people. Immigrants, foreign people. Have different sounding names. Don't belong in positions of power. Immigrants are here only because we have allowed them to come here – they have only what 'real' New Zealanders have given them. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Power and Politics Concepts Dissimulation <ul><li>Control of information </li></ul>Resistance <ul><li>Opposition against existing power structures. </li></ul>Coercion <ul><li>Ways of forcing listeners to accept assumptions about reality </li></ul>Legitimisation/Delegitimisation <ul><li>Assertion of the right to power, the right to be obeyed. </li></ul>(Chilton & Shaffner, 1997:212-3) Discourse as constitutive <ul><li>Discourse constructs our view of reality and constitutes a large part of social life. Reality emerges from meaning-making embedded in discourse. </li></ul>(Wetherell 2001:15-6)
  12. 12. Power and Politics Dissimulation <ul><li>Paul Henry, as a TV show host, has control of what is dicussed, what questions he asks, and what information is presented to the public. Paul Henry presents Sir Anand as immigrant-like based on his foreign name and no evidence to the contrary is available to the viewer.
  13. 13. Sir Anand has no power to represent himself. </li></ul>Resistance <ul><li>John Key resists Paul Henry's otherising of Sir Anand to a small degree by saying (indirectly) that was born in New Zealand. However he doesn't make any move to rebuke anything that Paul Henry says. </li></ul>Legitimisation/Delegitimisation <ul><li>Paul Henry controls the interview. As an interviewer of a high-status public figure his power in this context is legitimised. When the two talk over eachother, it is Paul Henry who takes charge.
  14. 14. John Key legitimises himself as the Prime Minister by appearing in the media. This media exposure shows him as someone in a special position, whose opinion is valued.
  15. 15. John Key's inaction in regard to the racist comments legitimises Paul Henry's comments. </li></ul>Discourse as constitutive <ul><li>The reality that this discourse constructs is one of tollerance towards racism. John Key tollerates Paul Henry's comments. Immigrant-like people are portrayed being unprotected by the NZ government. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Conclusion <ul><li>Sir Anand is presented as an immigrant rather than as a unique individual
  17. 17. The discourse promotes tollerance of racist language
  18. 18. It promotes the image of high-status individuals being exclusively New Zealand-European
  19. 19. It promotes the idea that immigrants and their families can never fully become New Zealanders </li></ul>
  20. 20. Further Analysis to Come <ul><li>A cartoon about the comments </li></ul>Rod Emerson, Paul Henry's appology footage One or more news articles and/or public opinions about Paul Henry's comments
  21. 21. References Bowe, H. & Martin, K. (2007). Communication across cultures: Mutual understanding in a global world (pp. 87-88). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chilton, P., & Shaffner, C. (1997). Discourse and politics. In T. v. Dijk (Ed.), Discourse as social interaction (pp 212-3). London: Sage. Wetherell, M. (2001). Themes in discourse research: The case of Diana. In M. Wetherell, S. Taylor & S. Yates (Eds.) Discourse theory and practice: A reader (pp. 16-16). London: Harvestor Wheatsheaf. Interview of John Key by Paul Henry (2010). Breakfast. Retrieved 6 October 2010 from