Cultural change or cultural paradox? The continuities and discontinuities in Dutch official agency talk

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    Abstract

    This article analyzes Dutch official agency talk over the period of the 1990s for the purpose of examining culture and cultural change. Following from Hood (2000), it applies Grid Group Cultural Theory and the New Rhetoric as both complementary and competing perspectives on culture. It shows that, while the complementary perspective enables patterns in rhetorical styles to be associated with particular cultural ways of life, the New Rhetoric as a competing perspective can also identify similar patterns together with the cultural paradoxes of talk. Furthermore, the variation in Dutch talk over time is found to be primarily associated with changes in the rhetorical situation rather than the rhetorical reactions predicted by Grid Group Cultural Theory. More generally, the article demonstrates the surprisingly rich and nuanced cultural findings that can be drawn from official government documents. These include findings about both the durable cultural features of talk and their fragmentary and paradoxical aspects
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)164-184
    JournalCritical Policy Studies
    Volume4
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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