"Piketty is a genius, but...": an analysis of journalistic delegitimation of Thomas Piketty's economic policy proposals

Theine, Hendrik ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5272-0670 and Rieder, Maria (2019) "Piketty is a genius, but...": an analysis of journalistic delegitimation of Thomas Piketty's economic policy proposals. Critical Discourse Studies, 16 (3). pp. 248-263. ISSN 1740-5912

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Abstract

The continued rise of socio-economic inequality over the past decades with its connected political outcomes such as the Brexit vote in the UK, and the election of Donald Trump are currently a matter of intense debate both in academia and in journalism. One significant sign of the heightened interest was the surprise popularity of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the twenty-first Century. The book reached the top of the bestseller lists and was described as a "media Sensation", with Piketty himself as a "rock star Economist". This paper, drawing from a major international and cross-disciplinary study, investigates the print media treatment in four European countries of economic policy proposals presented in Capital. Applying social semiotic and critical discourse analysis, we specifically focus on articles which are in disagreement with these proposals and identify five categories of counterarguments used against Piketty: authorisation, moralisation, rationalisation, portrayal of victimhood and inevitability. Providing textual and linguistic examples we demonstrate how the use of linguistic resources normalises and conventionalises ideology-laden discourses of economic means (taxation) and effects, reinforcing particular views of social relations and class as common sense and therewith upholding and perpetuating power relations and inequalities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This work was supported by OeNB Anniversary Fund [grant number 16789].
Keywords: Thomas Piketty, Economic inequality, Economic ideology, Redistribution Policies, social semiotics, critical discourse Analysis, economic discourse, media discourse, legitimation, strategies
Divisions: Departments > Volkswirtschaft > Heterodoxe ├ľkonomie
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Hendrik Theine
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2019 09:07
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2019 09:25
Related URLs:
FIDES Link: https://bach.wu.ac.at/d/research/results/89971/
URI: https://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/6810

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