Citizens and asylum seekers: emotional literacy, rhetorical leadership and human rights

Dixon, Robert (2002) Citizens and asylum seekers: emotional literacy, rhetorical leadership and human rights. Cultural Studies Review, 8 (2). pp. 11-26. ISSN 1446-8123


In this paper, I want to go back initially to some classical theories of rhetoric and moral philosophy to frame a series of questions about the Children Overboard affair and other, often highly emotive, media events in Australia, including Howard's response to the Stolen Generations. I want to propose the value of returning to the study of rhetoric and the emotions in political speech, and especially their connection with ethics, How do our leaders speak about such issues in public? Are the public statements of some politicians, as Judith Brett
suggests, 'emotionally inappropriate'?41f political rhetoric is constitutive of community values,
it seems important to ask what kinds of emotion are present--or deliberately absent-in the 'exchange of conversations that makes up Australian public life. What is the role of these emotions--or their absence-in shaping policy outcomes? How do politicians use rhetoric to constitute not only the way others are seen but also the way we feel about them? How, and to whose 'advantage', does rhetoric shape the way we feel about those whom it makes our others? What obligations do citizens owe to non-citizens? What are the emotional responsibilities of our leaders when they speak in public? What might it mean for political leaders to be emotionally 'literate'? In other words, what might constitute an emotionally and
ethically responsible form of civic eloquence?

Statistics for USQ ePrint 5547
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author version unavailable.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Humanities and International Studies
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2009 12:31
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:22
Uncontrolled Keywords: political rhetoric, Children Overboard, public speaking
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160601 Australian Government and Politics

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only