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"Hunting is not just for bloodthirsty toffs”: the Countryside Alliance and the visual rhetoric of a poster campaign

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This paper draws upon insights from discursive and rhetorical psychology, and studies that take seriously the notion that visual materials contain arguments, to explore the rhetorical construction of a set of posters used by the British Countryside Alliance in their unsuccessful campaign against the ban upon hunting with dogs. It examines how versions of opposing arguments are constructed and countered through forms of stake inoculation, which are linked to the Bakhtinian conception of ‘heteroglossic engagement’. Specifically, it focuses upon the ways in which the posters juxtapose discursive and visual elements to argue that those in favor of hunting are not who their opponents think they are—something pursued by setting up and then undermining a characterization of opposing accounts. This regularity of practice, along with the organization's claim that hunt supporters are a ‘minority of ordinary people’, is related to other literature that attends to the rhetorical significance of ‘ordinariness’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-53
Number of pages23
JournalText and Talk
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

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