Laura Pardo (Buenos Aires) and Nuria Lorenzo-Dus (Swansea) have recently published an article in the Journal of Multicultural Discourses in which they explore the British and Argentinean war hero constructions in relation to the Malvinas (Falklands) War. They argue that the Argentinean constructions of the war hero are driven by the ‘modern’ archetype of lone hero willing to die for his country, whereas the British are more based on the ‘postmodern’ archetype of the hero as someone who merely does his job as part of team work.
This paper examines constructions of war heroism within the context of the commemoration in 2007 on Argentinean and British television of the 25th anniversary of the end of the Falklands War. In order to do this, it combines two analytic frameworks: synchronic-diachronic analysis (Pardo 2006, 2008, 2010) and revisionist face-work/politeness analysis (e.g. Bravo 1999). The origins of both frameworks, especially the synchronic-diachronic analysis, lie in Latin America/Spanish linguistic scholarship. Methodologically, therefore, our analysis moves beyond traditional examination of non-Western contexts and cultures through Western analytic/theoretical models. The results reveal several differences in the discursive construction of heroic selves within mass mediated commemorative practices in Argentina and the United Kingdom. Thus, while Argentinean constructions generally coincide with a 'modern' notion of heroism, which highlights individualism and extra-ordinariness, British ones generally coincide with a 'postmodern' notion of the ordinary, 'banal' hero. Both sets, however, incorporate some elements, respectively, of 'postmodern' and 'modern' heroism. This suggests a gradual (post)modern heroism in the corpus rather than a binary (modern-postmodern) construction.
Pardo, L. & Lorenzo-Dus, N. (2010). The Falklands/Malvinas 25 years on: a comparative analysis of constructions of heroism on Argentinean and British television. Journal of Multicultural Discourses 5 (3), 253-270.
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