• Mary Lynne Gasaway Hill


This Chapter offers an overview of the work, introducing the performative speech act of protest in relation to John L. Austin’s Speech Act Theory. This is followed by a consideration of the definition of protest as an expression of social, political, and cultural dissent, in relation to: political efficacy, Grice’s Cooperative Principle, Social Contract, collective memory, identity, legitimacy, and hegemony. Chapter 2 maps the connection between Speech Act Theory and questions of power associated with Critical Discourse Analysis, renovating Austin’s criteria (felicity conditions) for a generalized successful speech act, to particularized criteria for protest language. Convocativity and pragmatic legitimacy are concepts developed as part of this renovation. This facilitates the comparative investigation (Chapters 3 through 6) of protest across genres (chants, songs, poetry, prose), geographies (Turkey, the United States, West Germany, Romania, Great Britain, Guatemala, Northern Ireland), and languages (Turkish, Spanish, English, German, Romanian, K’iche’, Irish Gaeilge). The book concludes with a review of the findings as well as a discussion of the relationship between emerging technologies and protest.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English and Communication StudiesSt. Mary’s University, TexasSan AntonioUSA

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