Authoritarianism on the Front Page

Multimodal discourse and argumentation in times of multiple crises in Greece

ORCID logoDimitris Serafis | USI - Università della Svizzera italiana
ISBN 9789027213488 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027253279 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
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This volume offers a critical discursive-argumentative framework that scrutinizes the discursive construction and, moreover, the argumentative justification of authoritarian attitudes on newspaper front pages in highly polarized times of multiple ‘crises’ in Greece. At the same time, it aspires to outline novel research avenues for scholars working in the fields of critical discourse and argumentation studies, multimodality and communication studies, that go beyond the study of the meaning potential of multimodal artifacts and focus on the study of the argumentative inferences that are triggered by multimodal discourses in polarized contexts. It frames the theoretical discussion based on concepts such as Nikos Poulantzas’ ‘authoritarian statism’ as well as Antonio Gramsci’s ‘hegemony’ and ‘intellectuals’. Methodologically, it draws on the agenda of multimodal critical discourse analysis, integrating principles and tools from social semiotics and (multimodal) argumentation studies with a particular focus on inference in argumentation.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“Dimitris Serafis’ new book, Authoritarianism on the Front Page provides an illuminating and rigorous dissection of the discursive construction of crises and how this played out in Greek print media. The book’s focus on the Greek context from 2008 to 2020 also acutely shows the interplay between authoritarian politics and crises. However, Authoritarianism on the Front Page’s true originality and strength lies in its innovative methodology, which combines classic rhetoric with multimodal discourse analysis. In doing so, Serafis offers a fresh analytical approach to critical discourse studies; one that has real potential to push the field in new directions.”
“With this monograph, Serafis proposes a robust methodological apparatus for the study of complex discursive phenomena that require the joint attention of multimodal analysis, critical discourse studies, argumentation theory and political science. He draws on his deep knowledge of the literature in the respective fields in order to propose novel combinations of tools and concepts for the meticulous examination of three key moments of crisis in the Greek context, showing thus how the argumentative inferences that can account for the legitimation of authoritarianism by the mainstream press are grounded in the multimodal meaning making of its front pages. The book makes a substantial contribution to each of these fields, by adding a much needed critical social perspective to the study of argumentation, and by grounding discourse analysis in the recovery of the argumentative inferences that underlie legitimation practices, but also by showing how serious attention to multimodal semiosis can produce rich argumentative analyses and reliable critical interpretations. Serafis’ methodological framework will prove useful for the multimodal and argumentative analysis not only of printed front pages but also of media discourse in general.”
Authoritarianism on the Front Page accomplishes two aims. It proposes convincing empirical analyses of discursive constructions of contemporary European crises, illuminating turning points at the societal and political levels. At the same time, it offers an advanced methodological reflection regarding how to integrate critical discourse analysis and argumentation studies. Readers from different disciplines interested in a fine-grained empirical analysis of authoritarian discourse in the public sphere will find a reliable source in Serafis’ work.”
“Serafis has given us a framework which makes explicit the steps for reconstructing a standpoint-argument pair from multimodal texts and which can be applied in a systematic way to the analysis of front pages. Without this step, any discussion about the merits of this particular proposal or about the ways of sharpening our methodological tools for the reconstruction of multimodal argumentation in general would not have been possible. This is an important contribution to the study of multimodal argumentation.”
“This book represents a timely and important contribution to the analysis of the representation of crises in the media; anyone interested in media studies, critical discourse studies, argumentation and multimodality would benefit greatly by reading it.”

Communication Studies

Communication Studies

Main BIC Subject

CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009030: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Pragmatics
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2022060228 | Marc record