Pragmatics and Society 6 (4):502-516 (2015)

Sol Azuelos-Atias
University of Haifa
This work studies manipulative use of language that can be called “deliberate failure of communication”; I characterize this kind of manipulation and show that it can be found in the discourse of marketing experts and legal professionals. Relying on relevance theory, I show that manipulation of this kind takes advantage of what van Dijk calls the “context model” of the addressees. I exemplify two ways in which the context models of some of the discourse’s participants might be misused in order to manipulate them. One way is exemplified by a text from an advertisement, the other by a text from a criminal court file. I propose, finally, that the analysis supports van Dijk’s view that social, discursive, and epistemic inequalities reproduce one another in a kind of vicious circle. It suggests, in van Dijk’s terms, that manipulation by deliberate failure of communication is a discriminatory use of language employed by elite groups in order to reproduce their social power.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1075/ps.6.4.02azu
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,079
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits.Bertrand Russell - 1948 - London and New York: Routledge.
A Rhetoric of Motives.Kenneth Burke - 1950 - Berkeley: University of California Press.
Relevance Theory.Deirdre Wilson & Dan Sperber - 2002 - In L. Horn & G. Ward (eds.), The Handbook of Pragmatics. Blackwell. pp. 607-632.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

From Persuasion to Manipulation and Seduction. (A Very Short History of Global Communication).Aurel Codoban - 2006 - Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies 5 (14):151-158.
Manipulare, seductie si ideologie ostensiva/ Manipulation, Seduction and Ostensive Ideology.Aurel Codoban - 2003 - Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies 2 (4):122-138.
Crito's Failure to Deliberate Socratically.Antony Hatzistavrou - 2013 - Classical Quarterly 63 (2):580-594.
A Cognitive Perspective on the Safety Communication Factors That Affect Worker Behavior.Pinchao Liao - 2014 - Journalof Building Construction and Planning Research 2:183-197.
Conventions and Failure of Communication.Eisuke Sakakibara - 2010 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 43 (1):1-14.
The Failure of Communication in Schizophrenic Thought Disorder.Manuel Villegas I. Besora - forthcoming - Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal.
Resisting Imaginative Resistance.Kathleen Stock - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (221):607–624.
Towards a Theory of Interpersonal Manipulation.Moti Gorin - 2014 - In Michael Weber Christian Coons (ed.), Manipulation: Theory and Practice. Oxford University Press.
A Thorough Investigation of Direct Manipulation.E. Bos - 1992 - Communication and Cognition-Artificial Intelligence 9:2-3.


Added to PP index

Total views
13 ( #769,013 of 2,506,109 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,984 of 2,506,109 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes