The fictionalisation of politics

Authored by: Ruth Wodak , Bernhard Forchtner

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Politics

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138779167
eBook ISBN: 9781315183718
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter addresses a genre that has become increasingly successful in recent years: TV soap operas dealing with politics and the actions of politicians, such as The West Wing, Borgen, House of Cards, In the Thick of it, Yes Minister, and Im Kanzleramt. Even more recently, UKIP: The first 100 Days presents the viewer with a scenario of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) winning the British national elections 2015 – and the possible consequences of such an event. What all these political television fictions share is their portrayal of what is usually inaccessible for the wider public: the ‘backstage’ of politics (Wodak 2015, 2011, 2010, 2009; Wodak & Forchtner 2014; Corner, Richardson & Perry 2012; van Zoonen & Wring 2012; Holly 2008; Corner & Pels 2003).

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