Economics and Language Use: The pragmatics of economics experts’ engagement with non-specialists

16. July 2017 14:00 - 21. July 2017 14:00
Registration Deadline
15. October 2016

Call for Papers for Panel on Economics and Language Use: The pragmatics of economics experts’ engagement with non-specialists, 15th International Pragmatics Conference (IPrA2017) to be held in Belfast, Northern Ireland, 16-21 July 2017.
Organised by Brendan K. O’Rourke (College of Business, Dublin Institute of Technology) and Jens Maesse ((Institute of Sociology, University of Giessen)
Please contribute by submitting your abstract (open from now, closed October 15th , 2016) through
The relationship between studies of language use and economics has been troubled and troublesome. This is partly due to the vastness of the topics that such a relationship might encompass, partly due to the usual tensions, confusions and competition that are characteristic of work across disciplinary boundaries. In addition to these, not insignificant difficulties, the power-infused nature of economics and the discourses that surround it increase the trouble, but also the importance of researching economics and language use.
Indeed, the pervasiveness of the language of economics in public discourse, policy debates and organizational life has led to much scholarly work on the language use in economics and economic expert discourse.
Within economics itself there has been an increased awareness, admittedly from a very low base, of language (McCloskey, 1998; Samuels and Perry, 2011), including the analysis of specialist uses and non specialist audiences interpretations (Perrin et al. 2015). More recently there has been studies of the economists’ influence on the public sphere (Fourcade, 2009; Mirowski and Plehwe, 2009) yet there has been relatively little work on the language of interaction between economists with non-specialists in contexts such as the media, policy debates or organizations, although there has been a recent blossoming of interest (Fairclough, 2016; Maesse, 2015; O’Rourke, 2014; Pühringer and Hirte, 2015).
This panel seeks to add to this recent work in a way that deepens our understanding of how economics experts interact with non-specialists in contexts such as media, policy debates and organizations. We welcome papers that address such as questions as the following, non-exhaustive, list:
 How do economists draw on the contexts (television programs, consultancy exercise or newspaper articles etc.) to make their communications more persuasive?
 How do interactions with economists in the media address the different segments that comprise their audiences?
 What is the role of the background (academic, commercial, ethnicity, class etc.) of economics experts in the communication of their expertise?
 What is the role of national context in the communication of expertise in economics?
 How are discourse marker used in economics discourses?
 How are questions of ideology and politics constructed in interactions where economics experts engage with non-specialists?
Fairclough, I. (2016). Evaluating policy as argument. Critical Discourse Studies, 13(1), 57–77.
Fourcade, M. (2009). Economists and Societies Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
McCloskey, D. N. (1998). The rhetoric of economics. Univ of Wisconsin Press.
Maesse, J. (2015). Economic experts: a discursive political economy of economics. Journal of Multicultural Discourses, 1-27.
Mirowski, P., & Plehwe, D. (2009). The road from Mont Pèlerin: Harvard University Press.
O'Rourke, B. K. (2014). Learning from interacting: Language, economics and the entrepreneur. On the Horizon, 22 (4), 245 – 25
Perrin,D. Eshraghi,A., Palmieri, R. & Whitehouse, M. (2015), The Pragmatics of Financial Communication Panel In: 14th International Pragmatics Conference. (July 26-31). Antwerp: University of Antwerp.
Pühringer, S., & Hirte, K. (2015). The financial crisis as a heart attack: Discourse profiles of economists in the financial crisis. Journal of Language and Politics, 14(4), 599-625.
Samuels, W., & Perry, W. H. (2011). Erasing the Invisible Hand: Essays on an Elusive and Misused Concept in Economics: Cambridge University Press.

Brendan K. O’Rourke (College of Business, Dublin Institute of Technology) and Jens Maesse ((Institute of Sociology, University of Giessen)
Contact Person
Brendan O'Rourke and Jens Maesse