Reflections of Social Pain in Journalistic and Advertising Texts in Greek Language

Tsitsanoudis- Mallidis, Nikoletta; Pagge, Jenny; Mallidis, Antonios; Theodoropoulos, Emil; Zaragas, Harilaos (2014). 'Reflections of Social Pain in Journalistic and Advertising Texts in Greek Language' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, 2-5 September 2014, Athens, Greece.

The informative-entertaining shows in Greek television were handling the problems of society for a long period of time. Finding a bed in the intensive care was an easier task, if the citizen previously resorted to the 'charitable' media 'to tell of his pain'. The corresponding 'solidarity' was also the case for the customer relationships between citizens and politicians. Certainly, this is one of the many aspects of an issue that the economic downturn makes it highly relevant today. The phenomenon of addressing cases of pain was diffused during time to the advertising discourse, social media and blogs. The compassionate and skillful 'management' of human suffering in the public sphere banished the difficulty of expressing the pain and prospered thanks to the fraudulent familiarity attitude, on the part of those who manage pain, versus those who suffer from it. The infancy and childhood was not excluded. In the 'reality' shows children were used as a tool and converted into common fungible goods.

This paper examines the linguistic and psycholinguistic dimensions of human suffering that 'is broadcast' in the public sphere by the modulators of communication. It is based on two research axes and, respectively, has two parts. The first part is devoted to the study of language structures used to describe the economic crisis in Greece and its effects, especially after the implementation of the so-called 'Memorandum'. Specifically, for the critical analysis of linguistic representations, we studied a total of 112 published texts in the traditional and conventional media, as well as the internet. We are seeking the various structural configurations used to describe situations and emotions between recipients/ victims of the crisis, figures which depict a deeper involvement of the citizen in the painful experience of economic backwardness and consequent threats. The focus is on the verbalization of the effects of the Memorandum, the exaggeration and dramatization of discourse.

In the second part of the study, we deal again with the onerous regime of the 'Memorandum', but this time we connect it to the advertising discourse. The purchase of products is displayed through the advertising messages as the ultimate cure to many problems, even to the survival of consumers. Virtual and actual realities collide and rotate in a peculiar negotiation, each time with different results. The results depend on the skill or fraudulence of advertisers, as well as the critical reading skills regarding advertising texts, on the part of their recipients. This part of the research has, as a starting point, a series of recent oral texts, originating from the field of advertising discourse. It's about messages that have been transmitted or continue to be broadcast on Greek television and radio, both of national and regional coverage. Furthermore, there was also material gathered from different sources altogether, e.g. websites. Among the issues of concern to the research approach is both the selected types of speech ('discourses'), and representations attempted, in order to describe the economic backwardness in Greece and the unfavorable position that many people have found themselves in.

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