|Author(s)||Muhammad A Badarneh|
|Title||Discourses of defense: Self and other positioning in public responses to accusations of corruption in Jordan|
|Tag(s)||Discursive Psychology, accusatory discourse, apologia, banal nationalism, corruption, counter-attack, cultural moral order, identity, image repair discourse, positioning theory|
|Publisher||SAGE Publications Ltd|
Public accusations of corruption leveled against public figures and institutions in Jordan have recently become a prominent feature of public discourse in the country. Informed by positioning theory as an analytical framework, this study focuses on public responses to such accusations through a discourse analysis of two major apologetic statements, or apologiae, issued in Jordan in 2018 and 2019: one by a controversial former royal court chief and minister of planning in response to public accusations of corruption and appropriation of public funds, and the other by the Office of Queen Rania of Jordan in response to accusations of wardrobe extravagance and overspending. The analysis shows that these two apologiae employed discourses that not only positioned the accused as blameless, but also as victims of defamation. Reference to one's history, such as public service to the nation and one's accomplishments, was exploited. In contrast, the accusers were explicitly or implicitly positioned as unjust, biased, vindictive, or motivated by hidden agenda. A variety of discursive strategies were deployed, particularly invoking cultural moral orders, resorting to banal nationalism, expressing pride in one's public service and allegiance to the monarchy, and invoking a constellation of religious, professional and national identities. In the case of the royal apologia, it was implicitly positioned in western discourses, such as invoking feminine ‘corporeal modernity', to respond to the wardrobe overspending accusations.