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StanceSociolinguistic Perspectives$
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Alexandra Jaffe

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331646

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331646.001.0001

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Taking an Elitist Stance

Taking an Elitist Stance

Ideology and the Discursive Production of Social Distinction

(p.195) 9 Taking an Elitist Stance

Adam Jaworski

Crispin Thurlow

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines elitism as a stance as it is accomplished in travel sections of two British weekend newspapers aimed at middle-class, affluent readership—The Sunday Times and The Guardian—and demonstrate how the alignment positions and relations of superiority (and inferiority) are constructed in these texts through a number of discursive moves and devices: negative Other—evaluation (e.g. expressing disdain for ‘mass’ tourists and locals); positive Self-evaluation (e.g. claiming celebrity cachet; power/knowledge); creating ‘exclusive’ lists of knowable, desirable attractions expressed in the superlative (e.g. ‘Best of…’ lists); endorsing conspicuous consumption through excess, (self—)indulgence and service; claiming cultural capital through displays of ‘good taste’, spirituality and intertextual links to high-status texts and references (e.g., Hollywood films/ celebrity), and so on. This chapter argues that in elitist stance-taking the evaluation is made through a claim to both distinction and superiority. In functional terms, it therefore define stance-taking as simultaneously instantiating ideology, establishing interpersonal footing, styling the speaker/writer, and stylizing the second party hearer/reader and sometimes a third party who may or may not be present. Stance is thus an act of social Self- and Other-identification.

Keywords:   elitism, stance, stance-taking, tourism, mobility, luxury, discourse, ideology, newspapers, travelogues

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