ERIC Number: ED106869
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975
Reference Count: N/A
The Language of Inquiry and the Language of Authority.
Political language employed in serious inquiry differs systematically from language employed to promote loyalty to authority in respect to syntax; grammatical completeness and complexity; proportion of nouns, verbs, and other parts of speech; and forms of qualification. Formal language entails continuous effort at verfication or falsification and exploration of the innovative possibilities of recombinations of facts and logical premises. Its chief forms in politics are mathematical propositions, a focus upon abstract processes, self-conscious efforts to perceive from the perspectives of others, and some art forms. Public language occurs when people share norms and political loyalties sufficiently that they need not be explicit about premises and meanings. It validates established beliefs and strengthens authority structures. The empirical combination of the two forms of language reinforces the evocative potency of both, but it also creates cognitive confusions of a patterned and recurring kind that inhibit effective political action by the poor. (Author/LL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Inst. for Research on Poverty.