Functional Theory and Political Discourse: Televised Debates in Israel and the United States.

Citation:

William L. Benoit and Tamir Sheafer. 2006. “Functional Theory and Political Discourse: Televised Debates in Israel and the United States.” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 83, Pp. 281 - 297. Publisher's Version

Abstract:

This study applied functional theory, developed for political campaigns in the United States, to six televised debates in Israel and compared debates in both countries. In both countries, acclaims were the most common function, followed by attacks and then defenses. Policy was addressed more often than character. Incumbent candidates in both countries acclaimed significantly more and attacked less than the challengers. Incumbents used past deeds significantly more often to acclaim—and less to attack—than the challengers. The similarities discovered suggest that candidates for elective political office may employ common discursive practices that transcend national borders. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]