Public Apology between Ritual and Regret.: Symbolic Excuses on False Pretenses or True Reconciliation out of Sincere Regret?

Rodopi (2013)
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Abstract

Since the 1990s we witness a rise in public apologies. Are we living in the ‘Age of Apology’? Interesting research questions can be raised about the opportunity, the form, the meaning, the effectiveness and the ethical implications of public apologies. Are they not merely a clever and easy device to escape real and tangible responsibility for mistakes or wrong done? Are they not at risk to become well-rehearsed rituals that claim to express regret but, in fact, avoid doing so? In a joint interdisciplinary effort, the contributors to this book, combining findings from their specific fields of research (legal, religious, political, linguistic, marketing and communication studies), attempt to articulate this tension between ritual and sincere regret, between the discourse and the content of apologies, between excuses that pretend and regret that seeks reconciliation.

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