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LRDG seminar: 'Saint Jamie' or 'A normal bloke': celebrity language in public debate, a study of the Jamie Oliver intervention..

Date: 4 November 2008 Time: 1.00 - 2.00 pm

Guy Cook, Open University, Julia Gillen, Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, and Alison Twiner, Open University

'Saint Jamie' or 'A normal bloke': celebrity language in public debate, a study of the Jamie Oliver intervention.

Choices made about food production and consumption affect our health, identity, environment, and political processes. Recent years have seen a number of prominent public debates about aspects of food policy, and public interpretation of the arguments involved is an important aspect of contemporary literacy.

Celebrity interventions in such debates have been inceasingly influential. A notable example was Jamie's School Dinners, four TV programmes shown in 2005. After years of unsuccessful campaigning against the consequences of commercial tendering of school-meal provision, these programmes were so immediately successful, that within weeks the reform lobby was in the ascendant, government policy and provision were radically reformed, and school food quality improved.

Our paper reports and discusses the findings of a one-year ESRC funded project on 'the discourse of the school-dinners debate' relating to this 'Jamie Oliver intervention'. Our innovative combination of corpus linguistic analysis, ethnographic interviews and focus group discussions provide a rich picture of the role of celebrity in contemporary debate, its impact on langage and argumentation, and the reasons for its ascendancy and success.

PLEASE NOTE DIFFERENT VENUE: MEETING ROOM 2

Event website: http://www.literacy.lancs.ac.uk

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Who can attend: Anyone

 

Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Linguistics and English Language

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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