Discursive strategies in the Brexit debate: the Economy

Akhan, Yağmur Lalin
This thesis aims to scrutinize discursive strategies (attack, acclaim, and defense) the Leave and Remain campaigners employed during the section on the economy in the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum debate, which was broadcasted live on BBC on 21 June 2016. The data was selected according to five criteria; time frame, broadcasting medium (radio/television), broadcasting type (pre-recording/ live broadcasting), genre, and public appeal. The debate was transcribed verbatim in ELAN Transcription Software. A quantitative content analysis approach was adopted to operationalize the discursive strategies, and the coding instrument was MAXQDA. In the economy section, the dominant strategy for the Remain campaign, the incumbent or the defendant of the status quo, was expected to be acclaim. As the challenger of the status quo, the Leave campaign's dominant strategy was expected to be attack. Consistent with the expectations, it was found that the Leave campaign attacked more than they acclaimed and defended. Nevertheless, against expectations, the Remain campaign's dominant strategy was proved to be attack. The thesis argues that the degree of public discontent with the status quo and the cumulative effect of decades-long Euroscepticism caused the Remain campaign to attack more and acclaim less during the economy section of the live European Union referendum debate.


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Citation Formats
Y. L. Akhan, “Discursive strategies in the Brexit debate: the Economy,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2022.